A.J. Brown Rumors: WR Requested Trade, Cut Off Contact with Titans Weeks Before Draft

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVMay 4, 2022

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 02: Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver AJ Brown holds a press conference on May 2, 2020 at the NovaCare Complex in Philadelphia, Pa. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Newly acquired Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver A.J. Brown reportedly made it clear to the Tennessee Titans well before the 2022 NFL draft that he wanted to be traded.

According to ESPN's Turron Davenport, Brown asked for a trade and cut off all contact with the Titans, including his coaches, three weeks before the draft after the two sides were unable to come to terms on a new contract.

As a result, Tennessee traded Brown to the Eagles for the 18th overall pick, as well as a 2022 third-round selection. The Titans used No. 18 to select Arkansas wide receiver Treylon Burks, who will presumably be Brown's replacement.

Meanwhile, the Eagles signed Brown to a four-year, $100 million contract, making him one of the highest-paid wideouts in the NFL.

With Brown's deal averaging an annual value of $25 million, only Tyreek Hill of the Miami Dolphins, Davante Adams of the Las Vegas Raiders and DeAndre Hopkins of the Arizona Cardinals make more on a per-year basis at the wide receiver position, according to Spotrac.

Given Brown's resume, it is both easy to understand why the Titans were reluctant to give him that type of contract and why the Eagles jumped at the opportunity.

Brown will only be 25 years old when the 2022 season begins, and the 2019 second-round pick has done some good things during his three-year NFL career.

Overall, Brown has 185 receptions for 2,995 yards and 24 touchdowns, putting him on pace for nearly 1,000 yards and eight touchdowns per season.

He reached the 1,000-yard mark as a rookie with 52 grabs for 1,051 yards and eight touchdowns, and he followed that up with his first and only Pro Bowl nod to date in 2020 when he had 70 catches for 1,075 yards and 11 scores, all of which remain career highs.

Brown's production fell off last season, however, to 63 receptions for 869 yards and five touchdowns. Injury was partly to blame, as he missed four games.

The former Ole Miss standout also missed two contests in 2020, so durability concerns may have factored into the Titans' decision to trade him.

Brown said the Titans only offered him a contract worth $16 million per year that could have reached $20 million with incentives. He added that he would have signed a new deal with Tennessee had he been offered $22 million per season.

According to Davenport, a Titans representative said Brown was offered a deal worth $20 million per season without incentives, but Brown wanted more than $25 million once the wide receiver market exploded during the offseason, particularly with the Jacksonville Jaguars signing Christian Kirk to a four-year, $72 million deal.

As for the Eagles, they were likely to use one of their two first-round picks on a receiver, but trading for Brown gives them a proven option right away.

While Philadelphia did not have a 1,000-yard receiver last season, 2021 first-round pick DeVonta Smith showed promise, finishing with 64 catches for 916 yards and five touchdowns.

Now quarterback Jalen Hurts has a legitimate wide receiver duo of Brown and Smith to throw to, as well as an ascending tight end in Dallas Goedert.

There is some risk involved with the deal, but it could be a move that helps the Eagles truly contend for the NFC East crown this season.