The Baltimore Ravens are getting busy in Las Vegas.
Moments after their selection of Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton at No. 14 overall was announced, Baltimore traded receiver Marquise Brown and a third-round pick (No. 100) to the Arizona Cardinals for the 23rd overall pick. The Ravens then added a fourth-round pick by trading back to No. 25 overall, where they selected Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum following a trade with Buffalo.
Baltimore spent the 25th overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft on Brown, the Oklahoma star who was expected to help the Ravens take the top off opposing defenses and allow their offense to thrive. The Ravens received quality production from Brown, who caught 195 passes for 2,361 yards and 21 touchdowns in three seasonx with the team, but couldn't quite unleash Brown as they'd envisioned as Baltimore became a run-first offense with offensive coordinator Greg Roman scheming up a dangerous ground attack with Lamar Jackson as its engine.
Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta said the trading of Brown was a "complicated topic" and that the 24-year-old requested to be traded at season's end, per Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com. Said DeCosta: "It's something I anguished over for a long time."
It didn't take Jackson long to seemingly voice his displeasure with the trade Thursday night:
DeCosta, however, told reporters that Jackson was aware of the pending trade before it was finalized, per ESPN.com.
Brown moves west to another offense with great expectations and receiving talent already in house. He'll join a receiving corps that is headlined by DeAndre Hopkins and also includes A.J. Green and Rondale Moore. Brown is essentially the replacement for Christian Kirk, who left Arizona to sign with the Jacksonville Jaguars in March.
Brown could finally reach his full potential in this offense, provided the Cardinals can mend fences with disgruntled quarterback Kyler Murray. Arizona entered 2021 with an all-in approach and came up short. The Cardinals are doubling down in 2022 by adding another weapon for Murray -- if he ends up playing.