Marquise Brown trade notes: Cardinals are 2022 NFL Draft winners with Ravens
Before the Eagleswith the Titans to land Pro Bowl wide receiver AJ Brown, the Cardinals made their own draft night splash for a big-name passing target, acquiring Marquess “Hollywood” Brown from the Ravens just three years after Baltimore had passed a first-round pick on the last. That was surprising, considering the Cardinals and Ravens have young quarterbacks nearing the end of their respective rookie contracts, and both clubs apparently have their sights set on the fight.
So, which team won the “Hollywood” contract? Here is how we would value the trade:
Complete commercial conditions: The Cardinals traded a first-round pick (#23) to the Ravens in exchange for Marquise Brown and a third-round pick (#100).
They may or may not be in a good long-term position with QB Kyler Murray, but here’s a great way to speed up a resolution: get the youngster calling an old friend from his college days, not to mention one whose deep speed should allowing Arizona to once again boast one of the most explosive passing offenses in the game. At just 24 years old, Brown is a rising talent, improving his yardage total during his three seasons in the NFL. He’s also under reasonable contract through 2023 on the fifth-year option, and even if he were to ask AJ Brown for an extension down the line, Arizona could afford to make him their No. 1 long term.
With Christian Kirk departing via free agency, Brown’s arrival allows aging AJ Green to return to a more rotational role behind DeAndre Hopkins and relieves Rondale Moore as a suspected No. 3. questions at a time. Not only are the Cards potentially placating their star QB, who is seeking his own salary and will benefit from an additional deep threat, but they’re securing a possible long-term point guard in a prime position.
Lamar Jackson has already hinted that he is unhappy with the move, and that’s understandable. Let’s set aside the possibility that Jackson takes this deeply to heart and takes his frustrations out on already stagnant contract negotiations with the team. Even still, that doesn’t make much sense for Baltimore, unless a Deebo Samuel follow-up blockbuster lurks? Every other competitor, especially in the AFC, has spent 2022 loading up. And yes, the Ravens have made smart moves elsewhere — Marcus Williams and Kyle Hamilton should once again make their secondary a force, and new recruit Tyler Linderbaum should help keep Lamar on his feet. But who is Jackson pitching to in 2022, a pivotal year for him to prove his passing growth?
Rashod Bateman was a first-round pick just a year ago, but aside from him, the Ravens have Devin Duvernay and James Proche III headlining their receiving corps. Keeping “Hollywood” may have involved paying him big bucks in a year, but was the trade to land Linderbaum worth it given the current state of the offense? Especially after the team has already added veteran lineman Morgan Moses for extra trench depth in free agency? Whether or not Brown was a true No. 1 in their eyes, he was still a central part of the roster for a team seemingly in search of a title.