Jacksonville Jaguars dubbed dream landing spot for pending FA Marquise Brown

• Marquise Brown would be a low-key great acquisition for the Jaguars in free agency.

Nov 19, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Marquise Brown (2) runs with the
Nov 19, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Marquise Brown (2) runs with the / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
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One of the biggest storylines surrounding the Jacksonville Jaguars this offseason is whether they'll be able to re-sign wide receiver Calvin Ridley. But even if they manage to keep him, they may need help at the position. Ian Hartitz of Fantasy Life thinks Marquise Brown could give them a hand.

Hartitz put together a list of dream destinations for a handful of free agents and had Brown landing with the Jags. Granted, the list had a focus on Fantasy Football but he makes valid points. In particular, Hartitz believes Brown would be a great complementary piece in the Jaguars' offense.

"Twenty-seven in June, Brown probably shouldn’t be leaned on as the quasi-No. 1 WR he’s been asked to be in both Baltimore and Arizona, but what about as a co-star in Jacksonville alongside Christian Kirk, Evan Engram and perhaps even Calvin Ridley if he re-signs? Sign me up — especially on a reasonable one-year, $12 million deal like PFF currently projects."

Brown, a second-round pick in 2018, didn't get a big workload in the Baltimore Ravens' run-heavy scheme. On the other hand, he developed a solid rapport with quarterback Lamar Jackson and even tallied over 1,000 yards in 2020. The following season, he was traded to the Arizona Cardinals the following year.

While he was his reliable self, Brown's production was hampered by the team's inconsistency at quarterback in Arizona. In 2023, he caught 51 passes (the second-lowest mark of his career) for 574 yards with four touchdowns. Moreover, the Cardinals didn't have other targets in the passing game, making it easier for opposing defenses to zero in on the player known as Hollywood.

It's fair to assume that Brown will perform much better if he plays for a team with a stable situation at quarterback. Maybe he could re-sign with the Cards. Once Kyler Murray returned from an ACL injury, Brown was more consistent. Another option would be to return to the Baltimore Ravens, where he would reunite with Jackson, the NFL's 2023 MVP.

Hollywood Brown offers the Jaguars an alternative to Zay Jones or Calvin Ridley

In Jacksonville, Marquise Brown wouldn't need to be a No. 1 receiver. As Hartitz noted, he would get more favorable matchups with Christian Kirk, who's returning from a core injury, and tight end Evan Engram in the fold. That said, he would only be an option if the team's brass either lets Calvin Ridley walk in free agency or Zay Jones becomes a cap casualty.

Ridley is set to become a free agent after hauling in 76 receptions for 1,016 yards with eight touchdowns in 2023. While the front office has made it clear they want him back, they'll need to give the Atlanta Falcons a second-round pick if they give him an extension, per terms of the trade they made in 2022.

General manager Trent Baalke says he doesn't mind giving up a second or a third if that means keeping Ridley. However, that second-rounder could help Jacksonville address other needs in the draft.

Either way, it looks like the Jags are making a strong effort to keep the former Alabama standout. Jones, on the other hand, dealt with a PCL injury last year and if the team doesn't think he'll bounce back, they could then move on from him.

Jones is set to have a cap hit of $10.7 million but releasing him would create $4.1 million in space. If the Jaguars do move from Jones, Hollywood Brown does become a potential option to replace him. Then again, it doesn't make much sense to release Jones only to sign Brown, who may more or less cost the same. This is to say that if Jones does become a cap casualty, there's a stronger chance the Jaguars will look for receiver help in the draft, not free agency.

Make no mistake, Hollywood Brown is a talented player but it doesn't make much sense from a Jacksonville Jaguars perspective to move on from Zay Jones and make a lateral move to replace him.

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