Bengals AFC North watch: Will the Ravens sign Antonio Brown?

Cincinnati Bengals, Antonio Brown (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Cincinnati Bengals, Antonio Brown (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

The Ravens have reportedly discussed bringing in wide receiver Antonio Brown, a move that would add even more pressure on the Cincinnati Bengals.

According to Michael Silver of NFL Network, the Baltimore Ravens have reportedly had internal discussions about bringing in star wide receiver Antonio Brown. The Cincinnati Bengals have had to deal with the shifty pass catcher twice a year before, but the team that resides in M&T Bank Stadium is a different caliber squad than any group the Steelers put together during Brown’s tenure with them.

The 31-year-old has caused quite the ruckus for the past two franchises he’s been apart of but that hasn’t stopped other teams from considering bringing him on board. The Ravens possess one of the most respected front offices in the entire league and they’ve earned that reputation for a reason. If any organization is able to keep the distractions he’s caused in the past at bay, it will be Baltimore.

The reigning AFC North champions already looked like juggernauts at times last year but they only got better this offseason. Adding players like Calais Campbell as well as rookies Patrick Queen and J.K. Dobbins will certainly make them more difficult to defeat in 2020. The one area of weakness appears to be their pass-catching unit but if they were to add Brown, that could quickly turn into a strength.

The good news is, the Bengals completely revamped their secondary this offseason, giving them a better chance of defending a wide receiver room headlined by Brown. Plus, defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo wields William Jackson III, who has had tremendous success in his matchups against Brown.

In addition to deploying Jackson on Brown, the team will need to control the clock to give the elusive wide receiver and Lamar Jackson as few opportunities as possible to make big plays. The Bengals themselves have an impressive arsenal of pass catchers but it’s difficult to imagine a shoot out where Cincinnati comes out on top. That means feeding Joe Mixon, giving the defense time to rest, and keeping Brown/Jackson off the field will be vital to their success.

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There’s no denying that the Ravens signing Brown would cause additional problems for the Bengals defense. It would erase their one perceived advantage, making the room for error even smaller. At the very least, facing Baltimore twice a year will be a good test to determine if Cincinnati is ready to compete against the powerhouses of the league, or if they need to go back to the drawing board.