Thursday Night’s NFL Draft had a few major trades during the first round. AJ Brown is a Philadelphia Eagle. Former Baltimore Ravens 2019 first-round pick Marquise “Hollywood” Brown is an Arizona Cardinal. Both trades were shocking. Tennessee and Baltimore traded their top wide receiver targets to the NFC. AJ Brown wanted to be paid like a superstar. Deservedly so. Hollywood wanted to play in a receiver-friendly system.
A Trade In The Works For Weeks?
According to multiple media reports, this trade was kept air-tight for almost the entire month of April. This move seemingly blindsided both fan bases as well as national media analysts. When the news broke shortly after the AJ Brown trade, there was a sense of disbelief in the air. Arizona had plenty of holes to fill. The twenty-third pick could have been used on Florida State EDGE Jermaine Johnson. Especially after the departure of All-Pro sack artist Chandler Jones to Las Vegas.
It appears that Hollywood got his wish and has been reunited with college quarterback and close friend Kyler Murray. In their last year together at Oklahoma, they connected for 1,318 yards and ten touchdowns. The tandem parlayed those results into Kyler being drafted number one overall and Hollywood being drafted twenty-fifth overall in the 2019 Draft. Arizona stipulated that the trade must not be broken by anyone or the deal was off completely. Brown couldn’t even tell Kyler he was heading to the desert for a reuniting.
Hollywood’s System Dilemma
After the trade was made official, Hollywood Brown made a surprise appearance at the Arizona Cardinals Draft Party. Brown had made his intentions known to the team for the last two seasons. After the injury-riddled 2020 season, he initially asked for a trade and was denied. The enigmatic receiver expressed his dismay about the offensive system put in place. It was clear that the offense was centered around and ran through 2019 unanimous MVP, Lamar Jackson.
Baltimore has been notorious as a run-first football team. The 2019 season has been merely an aberration. Lamar has not reached those types of passing numbers since. It may come as a shock to a portion of the fan base. Hollywood’s numbers have gone up yearly in the system. He had his first 1,000-yard season in 2021. If not for injuries to Lamar Jackson, Hollywood was on pace for a 1,400-yard season.
The South Florida Connection
Lamar Jackson and Hollywood Brown are obviously very close friends. They’re from the same part of Florida and have come up through the amateur ranks together as adversaries. After Mark Andrews, Lamar heavily favored Brown in passing targets. As a result, it comes as a bit of a shock to most fans that Brown was unhappy.
Back in the 2019 season opener, Lamar found Hollywood wide open for a deep touchdown pass in their hometown of Miami. Sparks immediately flew between Jackson and Brown. Even though he had a penchant for costly and untimely drops, Jackson’s faith in Hollywood never wavered. Brown was a consistent recipient of passes from the MVP quarterback.
While putting up over 1,000 yards this past season, Brown still seemed to draw the ire of the Ravens fan base. With the reputation of avoiding contact and falling down at the sight of a defender, the receiver made strides in obtaining yards after the catch this year. In the nail-biter versus Detroit, Brown dropped three touchdown passes that would have made the game a blowout. Instead, the Ravens had Justin Tucker kick an NFL record 66-yard field goal to win the game.
Hollywood Brown stated in an interview yesterday that he had informed Lamar Jackson of his intentions to play elsewhere in 2022 and that it was not personal. At the end of the day, it’s a business. Hollywood had the daunting task of asking general manager Eric DeCosta for a trade out of Baltimore. DeCosta stated that it was a difficult situation because of his love for Brown. Eric had drafted Hollywood as his first draft pick as the general manager of the team.
Hollywood Brown is reunited with Oklahoma teammate Kyler Murray in a spread-style offense that he has been seeking. Brown will line up next to All-Pro DeAndre Hopkins and veteran AJ Green. As a result, Hollywood could potentially have a career year. The attention will be on Hopkins. Not to mention veteran tight end Zach Ertz and newly drafted Trey McBride.
Brown is surely betting on himself after seeing the pay-days that wide receivers have been given this offseason. It is not known at this time if the Cardinals will be picking up Hollywood’s fifth-year option.
Good Luck in the desert, youngster.