Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta said Friday that the team expects to exercise the fifth-year option on wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown’s rookie contract, keeping the former first-round pick in Baltimore through at least 2023.
Teams have until May 2 to exercise the option for first-round selections from the 2019 NFL draft. Brown’s option is expected to be worth a fully guaranteed $12.9 million, a figure determined by averaging the third- to 20th-highest salaries at the wide receiver position over the past five seasons.
Brown, whom DeCosta picked No. 25 overall in 2019, his first year running the Ravens’ draft, is coming off the best season of his career. In 16 games, Brown had 91 catches (14th in the NFL) for 1,008 yards (26th in the NFL) and six touchdowns. His yardage has increased every year in Baltimore, from 584 yards in 2019, when he was coming off a Lisfranc (foot) injury that limited him in the preseason, to 769 yards last season.
“I think very highly of Marquise,” DeCosta said at his season-ending news conference. “I think he’s a talent. I love his personality and his competitiveness and his passion. … I like his energy that he brings and quite honestly, for his skill set, for what he brings to the table, the fifth-year option, in my mind, if you look at receivers and what they’re making now, it looks like a bargain. He’s just a nice piece, and honestly, if we didn’t bring him back, we’d be trying to find another receiver.”
In 2021, Brown became the first Ravens wide receiver to reach 1,000 receiving yards since Mike Wallace in 2016. In the 11 games that quarterback Lamar Jackson started and finished, Brown had 65 catches on 99 targets for 825 yards and six touchdowns. Despite his small frame, the 5-foot-9, 180-pound Brown has missed just three games over his career.
“He’s a great person,” DeCosta said. “He plays the game the right way. I think he’s got a high care factor. And I still think, I still believe, there’s a lot of upside there. And I think he would say the same thing. He hasn’t played his best football. And I would say that about most of our guys. And that’s why I’m excited, because I think we’re going to get that his year.”