OWINGS MILLS, Md. — It was not surprising that Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson was miffed when Marquise Brown was traded to the Arizona Cardinals this offseason.
Brown was Jackson's best friend on the team and his favorite target at wide receiver.
The Ravens did reach out to Jackson before the trade.
“Actually, Coach [Harbaugh] called me," Jackson said. "It was after a workout, and I was like, ‘OK,’ [and] I’m just listening to him. But he was like, ‘We’re thinking about trading him’ and stuff like that, but I didn’t buy into it. It was just conversation, and when it actually happened, I was like, ‘What the …’ But it’s all good. It’s part of the business.
"I was kind of hurt, because that’s my boy. But it’s all good. Like I said, it’s part of the business.”
The Ravens traded Brown and the 100th pick — third round, compensatory — in the 2022 draft to the Cardinals in exchange for the 23rd overall pick, which they used for center Tyler Linderbaum.
Brown was in the final year of his rookie contract. Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta had said the team would pick up his fifth-year option in 2023 worth $13.4 million, but the situation evidently changed.
Rashod Bateman is expected to emerge as the Ravens No. 1 wide receiver this season. Baltimore also has several other wideouts with potential, including Devon Duvernay, James Proche and Tylan Wallace.
In 2021, Brown and tight end Mark Andrews each eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards. It was just the second Ravens tandem to reach the 1,000-yard mark in the same season, joining Michael Jackson and Derrick Alexander who accomplished that feat in 1996.
The Ravens will need to equal that production.
Brown will certainly be missed by Jackson.
"I was shocked. I’m like, ‘Damn.’ But like I said, it’s part of the business," Jackson said about the trade.