Ravens GM blows off question about signing Antonio Brown, but doesn't say 'no'

Jack Baer
·3-min read

The intrigue between the Baltimore Ravens and Antonio Brown continues, and it resulted in yet another question about the free-agent wide receiver for Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta.

DeCosta chose to respond in an indirect manner. It wasn’t a “no,” but it definitely wasn’t a “yes” to an idea that has been endorsed by Ravens MVP Lamar Jackson.

Ravens GM on Antonio Brown: We like our guys

Specifically, DeCosta answered the Brown question by praising the set of weapons the Ravens already have on their roster. Not once did he mention Brown by name.

Currently, the Ravens wide receiver depth chart looks like it will be topped by 2019 draft picks Marquise Brown and Miles Boykin on the outside with Willie Snead in the slot. 2020 third-rounder Devin Duvernay and sixth-rounder James Proche will also likely get in on the action.

The team will also have Pro Bowler Mark Andrews and Nick Boyle at tight end, plus more quality running backs than it knows what to do with. It’s a pretty enviable group of weapons that Jackson showed worked well with his talents last year.

However, while Brown and Boykin have promise and Snead has experience, they’re not Antonio Brown.

The Ravens seem like a fit for Antonio Brown, but should they want him?

Before he was sabotaging his football career more than any player in recent memory, Brown was averaging 1,524 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns with the Pittsburgh Steelers between 2013 and 2018.

Brown’s talent is unquestionable.

Meanwhile, despite having a league-wrecking offense last year, the Ravens got fewer receiving yards from their wide receivers than any team since the 2012 Kansas City Chiefs. A healthier Marquise Brown — who is incidentally Antonio’s cousin — and more experienced Boykin could help fill that void, but adding one of the best wide receivers of a generation is clearly another way of filling it.

Between a low-profile wide receiver group, a friendship with their unanimous MVP and the man’s literal family, the Ravens seem like a natural landing spot for Brown. Adding a player like that could even give them superteam status, considering they were already topping the Yahoo Sports power rankings.

That is, however, where the pros end and the incredible amount of cons begin.

FILE - In this  Sept. 15, 2019, file photo, New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown (17) on the sidelines, during the first half at an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins in Miami Gardens, Fla. NFL free agent Antonio Brown turned himself in at a Florida jail on Thursday night, Jan, 24, 2020, following accusations that he and his trainer attacked another man. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)
Signing Antonio Brown carries significant potential rewards, but even more risks for the Ravens. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)

For starters, consider literally everything that Brown has done off the field in the last year or two. The sexual assault allegations. The regular assault allegations. Forcing his way off two teams. Hurling furniture out of high-rise apartment. The social media tirades. Cryotherapy frostbite. Helmet fights. Cryptic YouTube videos. Courtroom antics so bad a lawyer requested a new deposition.

Brown might be apologizing now, but he has spent month after month showing that any team interested in him should not count on him playing a single down of football for them, be it through more needless drama, legal troubles or still-looming punishment from the NFL.

A team could try to sign him to as financially low-risk a deal as possible, but there will never not be risk with Brown, especially when it’s a team with Super Bowl hopes like the Ravens.

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