The Baltimore Ravens had one of the most prolific offenses in NFL history in 2019. And they did so with comparatively minimal input from their wide receivers.
It helps that the Ravens set a new NFL record for rushing yards in a single season. That did a lot of the heavy lifting with respect to the team’s high offensive standards. But Lamar Jackson also led the league in touchdown passes, so it’s not as though the passing game was on the back burner, even if he only threw for 3127 yards.
How much of this is on the offense itself? How much of it is about Jackson? And what about the wide receiver group itself? A pair of rookies—albeit with pedigree—were some of their primary targets last year, so internal growth is to be expected, but the Ravens are also expected to address the receiver position in the draft again, and early.
That’s why it became of note in Baltimore when Jackson and Marquise Brown, their first-round wide receiver from last season, were photographed with former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown, who is cousins with Marquise, holding a private workout last month. Antonio is currently a free agent.
While the meeting had nothing to do with the organization, it raised questions about whether or not the Ravens were interested in signing him. Since the New England Patriots released him in Week Three, the New Orleans Saints are the only team to have so much as brought him in for a workout. It was enough to prompt the question to general manager Eric DeCosta as to their feelings on the Pro Bowler.
“Those are in-house things. Those are my feelings, my personal feelings about that situation”, he said, according to the team’s website. “I don’t really feel a need to share that with you all right now. As far as players – free agent players – we wouldn’t talk about those guys right now. It doesn’t really serve any purpose for us to talk about players that are available right now. There’s really no benefit in doing that. So, I think I’ll just leave that one alone”.
It’s not exactly uncommon for a coach or general manager to offer a long-winded ‘no comment’ comment when asked about a player who isn’t on their team. Antonio Brown is a bit of different territory, given the events that have transpired over the past year and a half, and the fact that he is, or at least recently was, one of the best players in the league.