Ravens Trade Lamar Jackson’s BFF ‘Hollywood’ Brown And Jackson Hasn’t Signed His Extension. Time To Worry In Baltimore?

During round one of the NFL draft on Thursday night, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson sent out a rather cryptic tweet, seemingly in response to the Ravens’ selection with their second pick of the first round. The Ravens selected Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum 25th overall.

But Jackson refuted that immediately, tweeting it wasn’t about the selection of Linderbaum.

It seems Jackson was upset over the trade of his friend and wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown.

Brown was sent to the Arizona Cardinals to reunite with quarterback Kyler Murray, his teammate at Oklahoma. Brown caught 91 balls for 1,008 yards and six touchdowns last season and was the Ravens’ leading wideout.

Jackson is eligible for a contract extension, and the two sides have yet to come to an agreement. Given the big quarterback deals signed this offseason by DeShaun Watson and Aaron Rodgers, as an All-Pro and league MVP Jackson has a huge payday coming.

The Ravens are 37-12 since Jackson became the starter in Week 11 of the 2018 season, and Jackson is also the first quarterback in NFL history to reach 35 regular season wins before the age of 25.

But trading away one of his main targets on offense is sure to make Jackson feel some type of way, though he was aware of the deal before it went down, according to Brown.

“It was just . . . my happiness,” Brown said on the “I Am Athlete Tonight” podcast. “I talked to Lamar about it after my second year. And then after my third year, leading up to the end of the season, you know, he wasn’t playing. I let him know again, like, ‘Yeah, bro, I can’t do it.’ You know, it’s not really on Lamar, like I love Lamar. It was just, you know, it’s just the system just wasn’t for me personally. You know, I love all my teammates. I love the guys. It was just something I had to think about for myself.”

Of course, the Ravens’ offensive system is built around Jackson and his dual-threat ability. If you are a receiver looking for 100 catches, 1,700 yards and 12+ touchdowns it’s not likely to happen in Baltimore. At least not at this juncture of Jackson’s career.

Now Jackson could see this as a slight or a dig. If he is the Ravens’ system and you are rejecting the system, you are essentially rejecting Jackson.

Be that as it may, the Ravens are moving forward without Brown. It’s likely they will draft a wide receiver or two in the later rounds of the draft and develop him to be a part of the Ravens system.

Jackson is an above-average NFL passer, but that part of his game will need to continue to improve if the Ravens want to win Super Bowls. When the defense knows they can be beaten just as easily with the pass as the run is when Jackson will be truly unstoppable.

In his four playoff games he’s had some poor passing numbers. He’s completed under 60 percent of his passes and has only thrown three touchdowns, against five interceptions.

But of course early playoff struggles do not mean long-term failure.

Peyton Manning was horrendous in his first three playoff games, barely completing 50 percent of his passes and only throwing one touchdown, against two interceptions. Things worked out pretty well for him.

The Ravens are betting they will for Jackson as well.

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