Eric DeCosta Talks About Possibility of Trading Orlando Brown Jr.

T Orlando Brown Jr.

General Manager Eric DeCosta spoke Tuesday for the first time since Pro Bowl offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. made it clear that he wants to be traded to a team where he will play left tackle.

DeCosta said he's had some discussions with Brown and his agents, but there is currently no timetable for a trade.

"We'll do what's best for Orlando and we'll do what's best for the Ravens," DeCosta said. "These things take time sometimes. There's a lot of different scenarios with how this thing could play out. But we are blessed to have him on the team. He's an excellent player."

The Ravens could trade Brown after the first wave of free agency to a team that missed out on one of the top left tackles. That would presumably provide Baltimore with more draft ammunition this year, and DeCosta said he would love to add to the Ravens' current total of seven picks.

Needy teams could also wait until after the draft to see whether they are able to select a plug-and-play left tackle. Or a trade could come over the summer if an injury were to happen.

But any trade would open up a sudden big need for the Ravens, who don't have a clear right tackle replacement on the roster. Rookie Tyre Phillips and veteran D.J. Fluker, a pending free agent, split the role last season after Brown shifted to the left side.

The other possibility is that no trade happens, which would leave Brown back at right tackle next season once Ronnie Stanley returns from his season-ending ankle injury. Having arguably the NFL's best tackle duo next season is not a bad scenario for the Ravens, and Brown would be eligible for free agency next offseason.

"It's all really about what's best for the club," DeCosta said. "That's how I look at everything we do – what's best for the club. How does the club win?"

Head Coach John Harbaugh said he isn't concerned about Brown's attitude if the Ravens don't trade him.

"Orlando and I, we have a great relationship. He's a guy that wants to win. Very competitive player, has a lot of pride in his game, works really hard, competes. I love him as a player, love him as a person. However the situation plays out, I'm sure he'll be at his best next year. I'd be counting on that and I trust him to do that."

While the Ravens don't want to trade Brown, they could part ways with the highly talented and beloved player if they get the right offer. DeCosta didn't say whether he was surprised by Brown's trade request, but he understands where he's coming from.

"I think Orlando is a competitive guy," DeCosta said. "I had a dream when I was 6 years old to be general manager of an NFL team. I think Orlando's dream has always been to be a left tackle in the NFL like his father. That's just how he sees himself and that's how he envisions his career playing out."

The mauling 6-foot-8, 345-pounder went to the Pro Bowl in 2019 after starting all 16 games at right tackle. It was a shift for him considering he played left tackle throughout his childhood and throughout college at Oklahoma.

When Stanley went down with a major injury two days after signing a five-year contract extension nearing $100 million, Brown got his opportunity to show he could excel at the position in the NFL. He took over at left tackle for the final 11 games, including the postseason, and played so well that he was again voted to the Pro Bowl in 2020.

"We're blessed to have him on the team," DeCosta said. "He's a great kid, he's an outstanding player, he's played very well for us – a very selfless guy. He's bounced around, played two different positions at a very high level. He's under contract and he understands that."

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