While it felt like it was building to this for the past week or two, it was reported yesterday that Baltimore Ravens right tackle Orlando Brown formally requested a trade, as he seeks a home in the NFL with a team that would allow him to play the position that he is capable of and deserves to play, which is the coveted left tackle position.
A 2018 third-round draft choice, Browns has developed well over the course of his three seasons in the league, and, due to injuries suffered by All-Pro Ronnie Stanley, he had the opportunity to live out his ambitions for a good chunk of the 2020 season by lining up on the left side of the Ravens’ offensive line.
“There has been communication between his camp and the team stating as much”, Ian Rapoport reported for NFL Network regarding the young lineman’s intentions of only playing for a team that will give him the opportunity to play at left tackle. “The Ravens are going to need a haul to be able to trade someone who is that good, but certainly teams are going to be interested”.
The fact that Brown is going into the final season of his rookie contract would complicate things for any team who didn’t intend to immediately sign him to a long-term contract extension, but it’s certainly very possible that one who does view him as their franchise left tackle would plan to do just that—unlike what the Houston Texans did with their own left tackle.
The fact that he had the opportunity to log a significant amount of time playing on the left side last season obviously substantially bolsters his prospects of landing a trade deal that Baltimore would accept, barring him forcing his hand by threatening to hold out during the season unless they trade him, which would force them to lower their asking price.
Meanwhile, the Ravens are trying to focus on improving their offensive line, and this is obviously not helping. From the looks of it, Brown will be gone, Stanley will be returning from a torn ACL, and they will still not have a center that they are happy with, while the right guard position remains unconvincingly filled.
They are still arguably the best running team in the league, but so much of that is predicated upon Lamar Jackson’s threat to run the ball. If they had a more conventional passer, one has to wonder how successful they would be in the ground game.