Baltimore Ravens star quarterback Lamar Jackson did not hold back in his reaction to his team’s blockbuster first-round trade in the 2022 NFL draft on April 28 that saw wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown join the Arizona Cardinals.
First, Jackson retweeted an expletive-laced post from a fan criticizing the deal before responding to Brown’s farewell to his former quarterback. The Ravens sent Brown and a third-round selection – the 100th overall pick – to the Cardinals for the 23rd overall pick.
Jackson and Brown enjoy a longstanding friendship and have known each other since playing in the same Pop Warner youth football league in South Florida. The pair often arrived at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore together for the Ravens’ home games, and typically left the field after games together as well.
That connection showed up in the Ravens offense, as both Jackson and Brown were noticeably better when the other was on the field. Brown had a career year in 2021 with 91 catches, 1,008 receiving yards and six touchdowns, but he could have had even more if Jackson didn’t miss Baltimore’s last four games with a bone bruise. Per Pro Football Reference, Brown was on pace for 102 catches, 1,275 receiving yards and nine touchdowns before Jackson’s injury. He struggled to establish chemistry with backup quarterback Tyler Huntley, who found more success passing to Rashod Bateman and Mark Andrews.
Jackson is clearly upset to be losing one of his top targets and a close personal friend, as evidenced by his next draft-night tweet.
But Jackson’s post came at an unfortunate time: right when the Ravens were using their next pick to draft Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum.
Many on social media took Jackson’s tweet to mean that he was upset with the Ravens’ decision, but he clarified later that wasn’t the case, calling Linderbaum his “new center.”
Jackson’s apparent frustration with Brown’s departure continued after the end of the draft, as he responded to a photo posted by the Cardinals on their official Twitter.
Other Ravens React to Trade
Several other Ravens expressed their surprise and/or dismay at the blockbuster trade, including fellow wide receiver Rashod Bateman.
Bateman did later respond to one of Brown’s tweets to wish him well in Arizona.
Veteran safety Tony Jefferson was also surprised at the initial announcement of the trade.
Recently re-signed defensive end Calais Campbell replied to one of Jackson’s tweets, saying “It’s a crazy business.”
Ravens Informed Jackson of Trade
Jackson’s open frustrations on Twitter immediately raised questions about whether or not the Ravens informed him of the deal before it was announced.
Eric DeCosta told media after the first rounded ended that he and head coach John Harbaugh “did speak with Lamar. We always do.”
Lamar is probably one of the great leaders of our team,” continued DeCosta, “We do try to communicate with him as best as possible.”
DeCosta further clarified that Jackson was made aware of the deal “before the trade was made,” adding that he and Harbaugh “explained the situation as best as we could.”
“It’s challenging for everybody,” said DeCosta, “Our locker room is close, which I’m proud of.”
“Any time a teammate is potentially getting traded, it’s something for players to understand at times. But I think in the end, it happens, it’s part of the business,” he concluded.
Jackson had previously expressed his opposition to a trade suggested by ESPN’s Bill Barnwell that would see Brown go to the AFC rival Kansas City Chiefs after they sent Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins.