A.J. Brown Trade Rumors: Titans Not Shopping Star WR amid Long-Term Contract Talks

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVApril 5, 2022

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - JANUARY 2:  A.J. Brown #11 of the Tennessee Titans celebrates after catching a pass during a game against the Miami Dolphins at Nissan Stadium on January 2, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee.  The Titans defeated the Dolphins 34-3.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

The Tennessee Titans aren't entertaining trade offers for wide receiver A.J. Brown, according to ESPN's Dianna Russini.

Brown is entering the final year of his rookie contract and has yet to commit to a long-term extension. Titans general manager Jon Robinson told reporters in March the team had held "very preliminary" talks with his representatives over a new deal.

At the NFL owners meetings, Robinson maintained the team's desire to retain Brown beyond the 2022 season: 

"Right now, we are just trying to get through this free agency period, seeing where we've landed cap-wise. A.J. is an important part of what we do. He's a great teammate, he works hard, he's about what we're about. A.J. is a Titan and we want to keep A.J. a Titan. And that's part of our goal this offseason, or whenever that manifests itself, to come to an agreement to keep him around."

However, the Titans are facing the same dilemma that vexes numerous other teams around the league when it comes to a wideout who's approaching free agency.

Davante Adams signed a five-year, $140 million contract with the Las Vegas Raiders this spring, which was the biggest contract ever for a receiver. The impact of that deal was almost immediately felt as the Kansas City Chiefs traded Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins, who gave Hill a four-year, $120 million extension.

For years, the quarterback market has climbed up and up, and it's a trend teams have had to accept because of the value of the position. Kirk Cousins' entire career is basically a testament to how even pretty good QBs have front offices over a barrel.

Whereas Adams and Hill have raised the earning power of elite wideouts, Hill's trade reflects how a franchise—even one with eyes on a Super Bowl title—may not reflexively hand out a massive extension.

Since the Titans selected him in the second round of the 2019 NFL draft, Brown has caught 185 passes for 2,995 yards and 24 touchdowns. A Pro Bowler in 2020, he has shown he can be effective as the No. 1 option in the passing game.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

AJ BROWN RIDICULOUS CATCH 🤯🤯🤯<br><br>TIE GAME.<br><br>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/NFL?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NFL</a>)<a href="https://t.co/7TALxJtDJX">pic.twitter.com/7TALxJtDJX</a>

Of course, Tennessee would envision him as part of the offense for years to come.

Still, Robinson will have to think long and hard about just how much he's willing to commit to Brown. Replacing a veteran receiver is far easier than replacing a quarterback, and the front office has already shown with the 24-year-old it can find good value in the draft.