Lamar Jackson made some headlines last week when he had a workout with wideout Antonio Brown, and that move set the internet ablaze. Could the Baltimore Ravens sign Brown to chip in at wide receiver for 2020?
While many thought that could be the case after the highly publicized workout, it isn’t likely according to ESPN’s Jamison Hensley. As Hensley wrote, the Ravens are ignoring the wideout market this offseason for a pretty good reason, and it has everything to do with the players already on the roster.
“This social media connection will cause many to speculate that Antonio Brown is joining Baltimore. But the Ravens haven’t gotten involved in the free-agent market for wide receivers because it’s believed they feel the NFL draft is the best way to improve that position group this offseason.
The Ravens are expected to upgrade their wide receiver group in the draft; they have nine picks, including five in the first three rounds. In Baltimore’s run-heavy offense, its wide receivers totaled 115 catches last season, which were 22 fewer than any other team in the NFL. The Ravens’ top returning receivers are Marquise Brown, Willie Snead, Miles Boykin, Chris Moore, Jaleel Scott and De’Anthony Thomas.”
Indeed, the risks seem to outweigh the benefits in terms of the Ravens signing Brown. The wideout himself still has some major issues to iron out off the field, and the Ravens have young players they are committed to including Brown’s cousin Marquise Brown. The team could also prioritize a wideout at some point in the 2020 NFL Draft.
It’s not wise to think the Ravens will take a chance on Brown at this point, no matter how much it seems they could use another elite player at the position he plays.
ESPN Analyst Slams Idea of Ravens Signing Antonio Brown
Would adding Brown be a good idea? Other experts aren’t sure that’s the case whatsoever. In the aftermath of the pictures and video of the workout hitting the internet, it seems everyone had a take on what the workout could mean to the Ravens.
Should the team take a gamble on Brown and sign the wideout given their need at the position? Not everyone is sure of that. ESPN’s Sarah Spain was asked her thoughts on the situation on Around The Horn, and as she said, there should be no reason for the team to take the risk.
“There’s so many obstacles still in the way,” Spain said. “Whether it’s pending investigations, whether it’s trust in whether Antonio Brown is in a place to be playing football and be part of a team right now. And as close as that team got last year and as well run as they were, and as much as John Harbaugh had everything schemed out correctly. The talent is tantalizing but the risk is way too big. You could name any team in the NFL and tell me all about their wide receiver needs and I’d tell you in the end I still think a bad idea.”
The Ravens do have a need at receiver and do have Marquise Brown on the roster, but overall, there is a lot of questions as it relates to Brown’s standing in the league and in the locker room. That’s obvious given takes like this.
It could be a huge reason for the team’s reservation.
Lamar Jackson Worked Out With Antonio Brown
Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson was video taped working out with Brown, and firing the controversial wideout and former Pittsburgh Steelers star some passes on the field. Here’s a look at some of their connections with the ball:
Obviously, Jackson and Brown working out together will make some waves in the NFL community, but there is some simple context. Marquise Brown, Antonio’s cousin, plays wideout for the Ravens. It’s probable that the family as well as the team connection led to this meeting taking place in the end between the parties.
Still, that won’t stop folks from wondering or dreaming of the potential of Brown teaming up with Jackson and the Ravens. It’s possible the only thing the team is missing is another elite pass catcher, and these guys getting together as well as the connections will only fuel the rumors that there is a potential fit with Brown from a football standpoint.
Antonio Brown Stats
Brown was an elite player for the Steelers for 8 seasons, racking up 7 Pro Bowls as well as 4 first team All-Pro nods for his work. The numbers were just as good, with Brown putting up 11,263 career yards and 80 touchdowns. Those stats put him with the elite of the elite at the position.
Brown, however, has generated a reputation as a troublesome locker room presence. His exit from the Steelers was well documented, as was his eventual release from the Las Vegas Raiders, as well as his signing and subsequent release from the New England Patriots. This offseason, Brown has found himself in the news again, with the police getting called to his Florida residence in January.
When he’s on, there is no doubting the former Central Michigan stud as being one of the best in the business. The only question at this point, however, is how much the 31 year old has the ability to be on.
The Ravens don’t seem to be the team interested in finding out at this point.