Brown, who led the Ravens in receiving yardage through an up-and-down prove-it year in Baltimore, cannot sign the deal officially until 4 p.m. Wednesday.
The transaction leaves the Ravens with just one of their top three receivers from last year, Willie Snead IV (651 receiving yards), set to return. Michael Crabtree (607 yards) was cut in late February, and the departure of Brown (715 yards) further destabilizes the position.
Brown, 28, had said on Instagram recently that there was a 50 percent chance he would return to Baltimore. Shortly after the season ended, he said he was “in a happy place” with the Ravens.
“As long as it’s good enough money to take care of my family, I’d love to be back,” said Brown, who had bet on himself by signing a one-year deal last offseason.
But there were concerns about his drop-off in production with Lamar Jackson. In eight games with Jackson at quarterback, Brown caught 10 passes on 33 targets and averaged 12.8 yards per catch, far from his average of nearly 20 yards with Joe Flacco under center. In the Ravens’ playoff loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, with the team’s run-first approach failing, he caught two passes for 14 yards.
Still, Brown would say the season was “the most fun I’ve had in my career.” That was not enough to keep him from following inside linebacker C.J. Mosley and outside linebackers Za’Darius Smith and Terrell Suggs out the door in free agency.