NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported that six teams have had “ongoing conversations” with the Baltimore Ravens about acquiring tackle Orlando Brown Jr. in a trade.
The Minnesota Vikings are one of them.
“There’s been a dialogue with the Vikings and Orlando Brown Jr.,” KSTP’s Darren Wolfson said, via SKOR North.
Brown has become the crown jewel of offensive linemen who could land on a new team this offseason. The 24-year-old is seeking a new home to play left tackle after proving he can protect the blindside last season, replacing recently re-signed left tackle Ronnie Stanley in Week 4 and earning Pro Bowl honors at the position.
Minnesota released left tackle Riley Reiff on Wednesday, leaving a void in both skill and veteran leadership that Brown could potentially fill if the Vikings can reach a deal with the Ravens.
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Mike Zimmer and Rick Spielman Cannot Afford to Chase Left Tackle in the NFL Draft
With coach Mike Zimmer considered in the hot seat entering the 2021 season, the Vikings cannot afford to plug and play a rookie at left tackle this offseason.
Ezra Cleveland could move to left tackle, leaving two guard spots to address. But no matter which you splice it, the Vikings need to acquire at least one veteran offensive lineman this offseason after parting ways with Reiff.
Brown fills that need and offers the best available insurance policy on Rick Spielman’s investment in quarterback Kirk Cousins. Brown, a two-time Pro Bowler in three seasons played, allowed just 19 pressures and zero sacks in 12 games last season at left tackle in 2020.
But Brown may come at a cost the Vikings are unwilling to pay.
Baltimore Beatdown proposed the following trade scenario:
Minnesota swaps first-round picks with the Ravens, giving their No. 14 overall pick to the Ravens for their No. 27 overall pick, as well as packaging veteran WR Adam Thielen and another mid-round pick for Brown Jr.
Moving Minnesota-born Adam Thielen would be one of the most unpopular moves in the franchise’s history, but it could be necessary in curing offensive line woes that have ailed the Vikings for over a decade.
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Brown’s Trade Request Comes From a ‘Spiritual’ Place
Brown, the son of Orlando Brown Sr., has worked his way to playing the premier position on the offensive line and showed he could last season.
His father was adamant about him playing left tackle. As a freshman in high school, Brown was lining up at left guard and right tackle — neither were suitable to Brown Sr.
“If he’s not playing left tackle, put him on defense,” is how Brown Jr. recalls his father’s talk with the head coach. “There’s no need for y’all to do him like that,” per NFL.com.
Brown’s father continued to encourage his son to strive for more. Brown Sr. passed away before he could see his son make it to the NFL.
Now, Brown Jr. has his sights on playing the position his father had seen fit for him.
“It was, ‘Left tackle, left tackle, that’s all you’re ever playing.’ And that’s all we ever worked on,” Brown said of his father’s advice and tutelage. “I’m better at left tackle; it’s what I dreamed about being my whole life. We all have dreams, and we all get put in positions where we have an opportunity to upgrade. That’s it for me.
“It’s a lot more emotional or spiritual for me, I guess you could say, playing left tackle.”
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