The Pittsburgh Steelers are in the midst of figuring out how they are going to rebuild, or at least replenish, their offensive line this season—or really the next few seasons—while at the same time seeing three of their top six or seven at the position hitting unrestricted free agency, and another perhaps considering retirement.
The Baltimore Ravens, meanwhile, may be trying to figure out how to hand on to one of their Pro Bowl tackles, with three-year veteran Orlando Brown apparently not happy with the potential ceiling that would be placed on him at right tackle if remaining with the organization.
The problem? They already have a franchise left tackle in Ronnie Stanley, whom they paid very nearly $20 million per season over five years in a contract extension that was signed in the middle of last season—shortly before he tore his knee.
Brown played the rest of the season at left tackle, and, out of the blue a week or two ago, Tweeted, “I’m a LEFT Tackle”.
That’s it. That’s the Tweet.
And according to Jeff Zrebiec, the social media post took some members of the team by surprise. He wrote that while they were aware that Browns viewed himself as a left tackle, “it wasn’t until recently when some team officials realized it could be a problem”.
With the Ravens already paying top-shelf money to Stanley, and Brown due to hit unrestricted free agency a year from now, they are obviously coming to a crossroads. Baltimore is in win-now mode, and obviously trading Brown will not make them better in any way in 2021.
“They already have enough holes to fill on the offensive line without creating one at right tackle”, Zrebiec wrote. “It would also be foolish to trade their contingency plan at left tackle until they have a better idea of Stanley’s progress in returning from a major leg injury”.
That said, he maintained that general manager Eric DeCosta would be willing to listen to trade offers. They traded former first-round tight end Hayden Hurst last offseason, though that only came after the Pro Bowl emergence of Mark Andrews at the position. But experts believe landing a first-round pick for him is unlikely.
“The Ravens will have to determine just how dug in Brown is and whether the situation is tenable”, Zrebiec continued. “One way or another, whether he’s paid as a top right tackle or as a top-five left tackle, Brown will be a very rich young man soon enough. But if his No. 1 priority is to play left tackle, that check almost certainly won’t be written by the Ravens”.