On November 7, 2021, the Ravens opened the second half against the Vikings 17-10. They had some momentum on their side, having closed the first half with a touchdown at 0:19 to close the gap to seven. But then the second half began.
Thirteen seconds after Justin Tucker put the ball into play with a kickoff to start the half-time, Kene Nwangwu ran for 98 yards to give the Vikings a 24-10 lead. The score was clearly a huge change in momentum and the comeback strained the Ravens’ resolve. But they got an answer, fought and ultimately won the game 34-31 to move up to (6-2) this season.
It was a productive game for Marquise Brown who recorded 9 catches for 116 yards, 7 catches and 103 yards in the second half. Sadly, this was the last time Brown broke the milestone of the century in receiving yards. Since that game, Brown has dressed seven times, hoisted 42 of 69 targets for 299 yards and 0 TDs while averaging anemic 7.1 yards per capture (“YPC”), 4.33 yards per target.
Now granted, Lamar Jackson, with whom Brown has an exceptional relationship, has not played in 3 of the aforementioned seven games, but his YPC is an indictment on the offense as a whole, Brown, substitute QB or l all of the above.
If last Sunday’s game against the Rams is any indication, Brown and Tyler Huntley aren’t always on the same page. And clearly, given Brown’s business decision not to participate in stopping Jordan Fuller’s INT comeback, that suggests he’s frustrated.
– Tony Lombardi (@RSRLombardi) January 4, 2022
This isn’t the first time Brown has expressed his frustration during times of limited production.
Prior to this recent 7-game recession in yards-per-catch, Brown averaged a respectable 14.8 ypc on 46 receptions. The challenge for the Ravens is deciding whether or not the Marquise Brown they have ahead is the pre-crisis or post-crisis player.
And neither one nor the other!
When the Ravens attack resumes – and I’m talking about the REAL Ravens attack with a healthy Lamar Jackson, a healthy Ronnie Stanley, JK Dobbins, Gus Edwards and Nick Boyle, I think Brown is capable of doing better. than 14.8 YPC. A more formidable running game commands respect for opposing defenses, it invites more efficient playing action and these elements combined with Lamar’s progression at the start of the season as a passer and a better offensive line allow for a passing game. more explosive.
That said, the Ravens need to be certain as a decision looms regarding Brown’s future with the club. He will soon be entering his fourth season as Raven, so Eric DeCosta & Co. will need to determine if Brown is worthy of the fifth-year option. Clubs can begin exercising these options on January 10, 2022. The submission deadline is May 2. The NFL Draft is April 28-30.
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In the last offseason, the Carolina Panthers and Atlanta Falcons exercised fifth-year options over DJ Moore and Calvin Ridley, respectively. These options paid $ 11.116 million each and are fully guaranteed once the club exercises the option. Marquise Brown was the 25th pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Moore was the 24th overall pick of 2018 while Ridley was taken at No.26. Due to a few big wide receiver deals signed since those options were exercised, RSR Capologist Brian McFarland believes a similar option for Brown will be in the order of $ 13 million.
In the end, it’s easy to understand Brown’s frustrations. Things were going pretty well from the start (except for the drops in Detroit) and there was reason to believe he was close to securing his financial future. But the drop in production in the second half of the year is hurting its market value, for the time being. When the attack is at full strength, the Ravens can get a better read. The only problem is that in order to fully secure Brown in 2023 (he’s on his rookie contract until 2022), they’ll have to exercise that option by May 2. Otherwise, 2022 becomes a contractual season for Marquise.
This is one of the many challenges that await DeCosta this offseason.