Ravens Reportedly Have 'Discussions' About Antonio Brown
The Ravens believe they'll have a more dynamic downfield attack this season, but the thought of adding even more weapons is intriguing for one of the league's top returning offenses.
One option often buzzed about has been free-agent wide receiver Antonio Brown.
Brown has been linked to the Ravens this offseason, and things got even more interesting yesterday when NFL Network's Mike Silver reported that Baltimore is one of two teams who reportedly have had internal "discussions" about signing Brown.
"Teams are sniffing around," Silver said. "I would keep an eye on the Seahawks. Brown has been doing some offseason workouts with their backup quarterback Geno Smith … And the Ravens, his cousin Marquise Brown is on that team, they have sniffed around in the past. They are mulling that over too. So internal discussions in both of those organizations. Keep an eye on Seattle and Baltimore."
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport believes there are "maybe four or five teams" who have expressed interest in signing Brown.
"From what I understand, Brown does, in fact, have a market," Rapoport said. "... When he's on the field he's still one of the most dynamic receivers in the NFL. … Workout wise, just football wise, he is still great."
There's no question Brown's talent would improve any offense, but a potential return has been met with more questions than answers.
Silver noted that Brown could face a suspension up to half of the season as the NFL investigates allegations of sexual assault and rape.
"The Seahawks and Ravens have both sought to upgrade the receiving corps of playoff-caliber squads," NFL.com’s Kevin Patra wrote. "Thus far Baltimore eschewed the veteran market, leaning on a top trio of Brown, Miles Boykin and Willie Snead. Pairing Antonio Brown with his cousin, Marquise, could make an already dynamic offense even more potent. The question is whether John Harbaugh would want to inject Brown into what seems a harmonious locker room that won 14 games last season."
Patrick Queen Among Rookies Pundits Are Most Confident In
The Ravens' strong track record of drafting first-round linebackers gives Patrick Queen big shoes to fill. That hasn't stopped NFL Network's Kyle Brandt from naming Queen the rookie he's most confident in.
"This is reminding me a lot of the other players who have come before him," 'Brandt said. "... There's a funny thing I think with Queen. He's going to come into a team where all of the attention is on Lamar, and as good as the defense is, it's all about the offense that made history. ... Big hitter, big energy guy."
Ray Lewis and C.J. Mosley each started at least 13 games during their rookie seasons and totaled more than 100 combined tackles.
Queen has the benefit of joining one of the league's top defenses and will have the chance to make his mark early. The Ravens drafted the LSU product with the belief that he can make an immediate impact.
"Queen will step in as a Day 1 starter who can play all three downs thanks to his combination of run-stuffing and coverage skills," Baltimore Beatdown’s Frank Platko wrote.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made the transition much more difficult for rookies. We still don't know when players will be able to report back to facilities. When they do, they'll have less time to prepare than normal.
"At this point, Harbaugh and his staff have been forced to gauge each rookie's progress with how those players perform in meetings, tests and virtual interactive games that the team has set up to encourage players to ask and answer questions," The Athletic's Jeff Zrebiec wrote. "The Ravens have learned plenty in those scenarios, but nothing compares with on-field reps and experience."
Defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale understands it's going to be challenging from a developmental standpoint, but is also confident Queen can make strides to help the defense.
"I know in just speaking with him and being in meetings with him, I think this kid can handle it," Martindale said yesterday. "We're lucky that we drafted a smart, and then driven player. He's going to rise to this challenge. Will it be perfect? No, but we don't expect that coming out as a rookie. The thing of it is, you can see that he doesn't repeat errors.
Confidence in Chuck Clark an Argument Against Trading for Jamal Adams
Like Brown, the Ravens have also been linked to adding another high-profile player this offseason in New York Jets safety Jamal Adams.
While we've focused on the reasons why Adams would help Baltimore's defense, but Ebony Bird’s Norman Getsinger made the case that Chuck Clark is a good enough reason not to trade for the New York Jets safety.
"I would argue that Clark is closer in ability to Adams than most people would think," Getsinger wrote.
Clark totaled 73 tackles, nine passes defensed and one interception in 12 starts. He also took over the "green dot" defensive communications. The Ravens felt confident enough in his play to sign him to a three-year extension this offseason.
Clark brings a similar element to Adams at a cheaper price tag. And given the Jets' reported asking price for Adams, Getsinger argued that Clark's cost and production make him a better fit in Martindale's defense.
"Even if the Ravens somehow did get Adams, how would that work on the field?" Getsinger added. "Would the Ravens play three safeties at a time? … If that happens what about their cap situation? With Marlon Humphrey and Ronnie Stanley coming to the end of their contracts, the Ravens will need to have some money in the bank to sign those players. It sounds fantastic to get a player like Adams, but completing a trade like this would hurt the team in the future and may not even work out."
Calais Campbell Aiming for a Super Bowl Run
Calais Campbell has accomplished a lot throughout his NFL career, but he's still chasing an elusive Super Bowl title. The 33-year-old defensive end, who the Ravens traded a fifth-round pick for this offseason, is confident that he can achieve that in Baltimore.
"Honestly, it's a great situation to be in," Campbell said on Sirius XM NFL Radio, via Pro Football Talk. "The team is very, very talented. You look at Baltimore's roster up and down and there's talent everywhere. And then throughout the draft we got even stronger at a couple of the positions where we needed some help. So I'm really excited about the opportunity."
The Ravens brought in Campbell with the belief that he can help them get over the playoff hump. After two early exits in back-to-back seasons, they have Super Bowl expectations.
"I've played in three championship games, one Super Bowl," Campbell said. "But I haven't been able to win it yet and so I feel like this team, as talented as it is, this is probably going to be the best shot that I have."
● CBS Sports’ Tyler Sullivan ranked Ronnie Stanley as the second-best returning offensive lineman in the NFL.