Ravens GM Eric DeCosta All but Ended Antonio Brown’s Hopes of Playing With Lamar Jackson in 2022

Article Highlights:

  • Baltimore Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta all but confirmed the team won’t sign Antonio Brown this offseason
  • The troubled wideout has said multiple times in recent years that he wants to play with Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson
  • DeCosta and the Ravens would be wise to keep Brown far away from Jackson

Amid all of his tantrums and legal issues in recent years, Antonio Brown has at least been consistent in one area: he wants to play alongside Lamar Jackson on the Baltimore Ravens before all is said and done.

Over a month before the 2022 NFL league year will begin, Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta effectively threw water on Brown’s hopes and dreams.

Ravens GM Eric DeCosta all but outright said the Ravens won’t sign Antonio Brown this offseason

All the way back in 2020, Brown first made it clear he wanted to team up with Jackson on the Ravens. When Baltimore didn’t bite, the former All-Pro wideout later convinced Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to take a chance on him.

Two years later, it doesn’t appear as if anything will change. According to The Baltimore Sun’s Jonas Shaffer, DeCosta told reporters on Friday, Feb. 4. that he hasn’t seen Brown’s public campaigning to join the Ravens; the former Buccaneers receiver tweeted an image of himself in a Ravens jersey on Jan. 25. 

DeCosta also made it clear that he does not expect to make any “significant” additions or changes to the Ravens’ receivers group.

“I think people saw last year a lot of growth at that position. We had a nice mix of younger players who continue to improve throughout the year, and we’ll look at ways of augmenting that position group. … At this time, I think we’re very comfortable with where we are with that group.”

Eric DeCosta

Translation: DeCosta plans to keep Brown far, far away from the Ravens.

DeCosta and the Ravens are right to keep Brown far away from Lamar Jackson

As the franchise quarterback, Jackson has considerably more power than a backup offensive tackle or a rotational pass-rusher. If he wants DeCosta and the front office to pursue a specific player in free agency, the 2019 NFL MVP might get his way … sometimes.

Don’t expect Jackson to get away with convincing the Ravens to sign Brown, no matter how hard he’d potentially try.

When Brown is healthy and motivated, he remains among the league’s most dangerous receivers. The 33-year-old hauled in 42 catches for 545 yards and four touchdowns last season; that’s a 102-catch, 1,324-yard, 10-touchdown pace in a 17-game year.

However, Brown is who he is, and he’s shown no inclination to change for the better. He served a three-game suspension this season for misleading the NFL about his vaccination status by using a forged vaccine card. Then, there was his infamous tantrum at MetLife Stadium on Jan. 2, when he removed his jersey and left the field midway through the Buccaneers’ comeback victory over the New York Jets.

The Ravens have one playoff victory since the start of the 2015 seaosn. Jackson, who turned 25 on Jan. 7, is the final year of his contract. No team with either of those pressing issues should want to add Brown, who has a history of toxic behavior and selfishness.

If the Ravens are smart, they’ll ignore Brown and hope he tires himself out before turning his attention to ranting about something else.

Baltimore must focus on developing its current core of young receivers

Although Brown looked sharp throughout his two years with the Buccaneers, he would bring too much baggage and danger to a desperate Ravens franchise. Rather than adding the four-time first-team All-Pro wideout, Baltimore must devote the coming months to developing their young receivers.

Marquise Brown, Antonio’s cousin, quietly set career-highs in catches (91) and receiving yards (1,008) in 16 games during the 2021 campaign. Rashod Bateman, the 28th overall pick in the 2021 draft, totaled 46 yards and 515 yards in 12 games and four starts.

Second-year receiver Devin Duvernay, who earned Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors for his excellence on special teams, tallied 33 catches, 272 yards, and two receiving touchdowns. Former SMU star James Proche added 16 catches and 202 yards in 14 games off the bench.

On the one hand, Antonio Brown would likely be the best of the receivers not named Marquise Brown. However, if the Ravens are serious about contending for a Super Bowl in 2022, they need to ensure the only way the problematic wideout is wearing the Purple and Black at a game is if he buys a custom jersey.

Like Sportscasting on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter @sportscasting19.

RELATED: Antonio Brown Says He’s Already Turned Down an Alleged USFL Offer: ‘I Played Football at the Highest’