A.J. Brown

WR A.J. Brown On Eagles: “I Want To Be Here”

After starting the season 10-1, the Eagles stumbled to an 1-5 finish before ultimately losing in the first round of the playoffs. Following the late-season collapse, there have been some questions surrounding some players’ commitment to the organization, particularly wideout A.J. Brown.

However, the receiver was quick to dismiss the notion that he wants out of Philly. Brown called into 94WIP Afternoon Show in Philadelphia on Friday to clear the air regarding his feelings for the Eagles organization.

“I have no problem. I want to be here, it’s as simple as that,” Brown said (via NFL.com’s Christian Gonzales). “I love where I’m at, it’s as simple as that. Next question.

“…Honestly, like I said the other day, I could have plans but also know it’s a business. But I can tell you that I want to be here. That’s all I can say.”

As the Eagles took a nosedive, so did Brown’s numbers. The receiver compiled 125-plus receiving yards in six straight games towards the beginning of the year, earning him the NFC Offensive Player of the Month award in October. However, from Week 9 through the end of the regular season, Brown only hauled in 46 catches for 517 yards and two touchdowns, and he was ultimately sidelined for the team’s Wild Card loss to the Buccaneers.

Thanks to that significant decline in production, many have questioned if Brown was upset with the team’s offense and quarterback Jalen Hurts. The receiver cited the duo’s previous success as reasoning for why their relationship won’t fracture.

“You know, I think that’s sort of BS. I’m not going to get into me and his relationship on the air,” Brown said. “But it’s total BS, you know what I’m saying. It wasn’t a problem when I was on my six-game streak. They weren’t talking about that then, so they only started talking about that when we started losing. Of course, you see friction from everybody, from the coaches, the players and from everybody. So, there you go.”

After getting traded to the Eagles in 2022, Brown inked a four-year, $100MM deal with the organization that featured $57MM in guaranteed money. The receiver is likely locked in for several more years (the organization has an out after the 2024 campaign), so if Brown truly wants out of Philly, he’d need the organization to acquiesce.

Eagles WR A.J. Brown Ruled Out For Wild-Card Round

Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni has announced that his club will be without star wideout A.J. Brown for its wild-card round matchup with the Bucs on Monday (via ESPN’s Tim McManus). Brown suffered a knee injury in last week’s regular-season finale against the Giants, and while Sirianni said the three-time Pro Bowler “fought like crazy” in his efforts to heal up in time for the Tampa Bay contest, he was ultimately unable to do so.

Luckily, the injury is not a long-term one, and ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports that Brown will be expected to play in the divisional round if Philadelphia should advance. Of course, his absence will make it more difficult for the Eagles to defeat the Bucs, and it exacerbates what has already been an exceedingly trying stretch for the reigning NFC champions.

Since storming out to a 10-1 start to the 2023 campaign, the Eagles lost five of their final six contests to drop them not only out of contention for the No. 1 seed in the conference, but from their place atop the NFC East. During that time, Sirianni made the curious decision to hand defensive play-calling duties to Matt Patricia, which did not move the needle, and Sirianni’s own job security has recently been called into question. If the Eagles’ swoon should culminate in a loss to the Bucs tomorrow, it is at least feasible that owner Jeffrey Lurie will seek an overhaul of the entire coaching staff.

Quarterback Jalen Hurts, who regressed this year after a 2022 season in which he finished second in MVP voting, is dealing with an injured middle finger on his throwing hand, so he could be somewhat limited as he throws to a diminished WR corps. Though the Eagles still boast high-end skill position talent in the form of players like DeVonta Smith, Dallas Goedert, and D’Andre Swift, there is no replacing Brown in the club’s offensive scheme.

In 2023, Brown recorded a career-high 106 receptions for 1,456 yards and seven TDs. And while Hurts’ performance generally declined this season, he and Brown continued to be in sync, as Brown’s 67.1% catch percentage was the highest mark of his career (though Brown’s 13.7 yards-per-catch rate was the lowest of his five-year NFL run, which helps to explain the elevated catch percentage).

Last week’s game against New York was not meaningless, as the Eagles still could have won their division and secured a home playoff game if they had defeated the Giants and if the Cowboys had lost to, or tied with, the Commanders. However, the odds of the moribund Washington outfit putting up much of a fight against Dallas were quite long, so Sirianni’s decision to play his starters has been heavily scrutinized (especially in the wake of Brown’s injury). The third-year HC stood by his call, however.

“We went through it, like you guys asked me before, ‘why did we do it,’” Sirianni said (via Zach Berman of PHLY). “Not knowing what the game was, you know, wanting to put a good output on there. I know that those things didn’t – neither of those things happened. But no. Obviously, you can look back on anything. At that time, I did what I thought was best for the team, and I’ll stick by that. And so, I don’t regret — am I upset that A.J. is not playing because he got dinged in that game? Of course, I am. But no, I don’t second guess that decision.”

Titans Owner: A.J. Brown Game Did Not Factor Into GM Decision

While A.J. Brown‘s performance in his first game against the Titans did not represent a good look for his first NFL franchise, Amy Adams Strunk said the game did not factor into her decision to fire GM Jon Robinson.

The Titans owner indicated her decision to can the seventh-year GM was already made, despite having signed Robinson to an extension in February. Rumored to be displeased with the state of her team’s roster, Adams Strunk preferred to let Robinson go early rather than going through a lengthy delay.

I’d already made my decision,” Strunk said, via the Associated Press’ Teresa Walker. “A.J. had a great game. More power to him, but that didn’t actually have anything to do with that.

… Once I made the decision, I was like, ’I can’t sit on it. I’ve got to go ahead and do it to be fair to Jon.′ I don’t know how many weeks we have left in the season. There could be a lot more hopefully in our season, and it just didn’t seem like the right thing to do to drag this along.”

[RELATED: Brown’s Knee Trouble Influenced Titans’ Trade?]

Adams Strunk confirmed she was in the loop on the negotiations that led up to the draft-night Brown trade, Walker adds, but after studying Robinson’s body of work — from drafts to free agency to season performances — she opted to cut bait. This comes after Robinson, teaming with HCs Mike Mularkey and Mike Vrabel, did not have a losing season while running the team. The Titans went 3-13 the season before Robinson’s hire.

The timing here is obviously interesting, with Robinson’s recent extension running through the 2027 draft. Ownership’s decision here has dismayed many around the league, The Athletic’s Jeff Howe notes (subscription required), adding that Robinson should not have trouble landing another high-profile position soon.

I told the fans from the very beginning that I want to win it all, and I want to be one of those elite teams that people are always scared of, and it’s my responsibility,” Strunk said. “And eventually it’s up to me to make those kind of decisions that get us there.”

Tennessee has advanced to three straight playoff brackets, earning the AFC’s No. 1 seed — for the first time since 2008 — last season. The Titans flamed out immediately after their bye, losing to the Bengals despite sacking Joe Burrow nine times. The 2019 team did upset the Patriots and Ravens en route to the AFC championship game, however. This year’s squad has lost two straight, but with the rest of the AFC South either rebuilding or underwhelming, the Titans (7-5) remain on track to make another postseason berth.

Robinson, who fired Mularkey after back-to-back winning seasons, made a number of solid draft choices to help put the team in position to contend after Ryan Tannehill‘s 2019 arrival via trade (for fourth- and seventh-round picks). The team has never extended one of Robinson’s first-round picks, however, and the 2020 Isaiah Wilson whiff represented one of this era’s worst draft choices. The Titans have also seen a number of players go on IR over the past two seasons; their 16 players on IR leads the NFL this year. Adams Strunk mentioned the number of players the injuries have forced the Titans to use, per Walker, who notes the team has used 76 players this season. Tennessee set an NFL record by using 91 last year.

Adams Strunk did not mention offensive coordinator Todd Downing‘s DUI arrest or the NFL investigation that emerged in the aftermath as a reason for the firing. That brought another major headline for the team due to the timing between the Titans’ plane landing from Wisconsin and Downing’s arrest. Downing remains in place as OC, though Vrabel said that could change depending on the investigation.

This surprising decision also did not come about because of a Vrabel ultimatum, Adams Strunk added. Vrabel and VP of player personnel Ryan Cowden will coordinate personnel moves for the rest of this season. Adams Strunk did not rule out the Titans waiting until after the Super Bowl to make the right hire, if necessary, and Walker adds Vrabel will be involved in the process.

A.J. Brown Knee Trouble Influenced Titans’ Trade Decision?

Following the Titans’ decision to send A.J. Brown to the Eagles, they dealt with a quick revenge game. The recently extended wide receiver made a rather notable impact in Week 13’s Tennessee-Philadelphia matchup — an Eagles rout. Although other factors undoubtedly contributed to Jon Robinson‘s ouster, the GM’s decision to unload Brown certainly played a role.

Titans ownership extended Robinson and Mike Vrabel in January, but a recent report indicated owner Amy Adams Strunk had become displeased with the state of the team’s roster. Brown’s absence is the most significant difference between last season’s Titans roster and this one, and the narrow gap between the fourth-year wideout’s 119-yard, two-touchdown day and Robinson’s firing is difficult to overlook.

The Titans were the first team to act on a contract impasse with a fourth-year wideout this offseason, bowing out of negotiations early by sending Brown to the Eagles — for first- and third-round picks — and drafting Treylon Burks. Tennessee’s front office viewed Brown’s health as a potential long-term issue, according to SI.com’s Albert Breer, who notes Robinson and personnel staffers had concerns about the talented receiver’s early-career knee trouble.

Knee trouble did plague Brown, 25, at points during his Tennessee tenure. He underwent surgery on both knees during the 2021 offseason. That followed a season in which Brown missed games and extensive practice time due to a knee contusion. Knee trouble also recurred during the 2021 preseason, but it was a chest injury led Brown to a three-game IR stay last year.

The Titans had started negotiations with Brown in late March, and Robinson said he wanted the former second-round pick to be a long-term Titan. A day before the draft, a report indicated Brown had been in touch with the Titans’ coaching staff and the sides’ relationship was fine despite an early proclamation the wideout would skip offseason work absent a new deal. Brown later said the Titans did not offer him a $20MM-per-year deal and mentioned it would not have taken the Eagles’ ultimate price — $25MM AAV — to keep him in Nashville.

Vrabel’s draft-room reaction became one of the more memorable visuals from this year’s draft weekend, and the Titans have been unable to replace the production the Ole Miss alum provided during his rookie-contract years. Brown (950 receiving yards) is averaging a career-high 79.2 per game with Philly, and his nine touchdown receptions are two shy of a career-best mark (set in 2020). The Titans have featured one of the league’s worst passing attacks, with no player above 375 receiving yards yet. Burks (team-leading 359 yards in just eight games) has shown promise, but various issues have forced him to miss offseason time and game action this year. Coming off ACL surgery, Robert Woods (357 yards in 12 games) has not recaptured the form he showed with the Rams.

The Eagles are paying up for Brown, having authorized a four-year, $100MM extension that included a receiver-record $56MM fully guaranteed. The Titans’ reboot at receiver did not precede other teams operating similarly, and Philly’s $25MM-per-year Brown accord gave the Commanders, Seahawks and 49ers a road map. Terry McLaurin, D.K. Metcalf and Deebo Samuel all missed offseason time because of contract issues, but they ended up each signing three-year deals worth between $23.2MM and $24MM. Burks can be kept on a rookie deal through 2026, via the fifth-year option, but plenty will be on the former Arkansas standout’s shoulders going forward.

Eagles WR A.J. Brown Discusses Trade From Titans

Since A.J. Brown was dealt to the Eagles, there’s been a narrative out of Tennessee that the wideout’s contract demands ultimately led to a trade. Brown is making it loud and clear that that wasn’t the case. During an appearance on NFL Network today, the Eagles wide receiver stated that he wasn’t a fan of how his stint with the Titans came to an end.

“You know, it’s a business, and I’m not upset about the trade or anything because it is a business or whatever,” Brown said (via NFL.com’s Kevin Patra). “But to be honest, I just didn’t appreciate how it all went down, and they just kind of blamed me for it. I’m man enough to say that, however people may take it. But I have no bad blood with Tennessee. I’m moving forward. I’m happy to be here. But (there are) a lot of things people don’t know about, and they’re just pointing fingers at me. But that’s OK.”

To review: Brown and the Titans had preliminary talks on an extension during the early parts of the offseason, but after a deal couldn’t be reached, it was reported that the wideout wouldn’t be participating in offseason programs. The Titans front office didn’t blink and suddenly traded him to Philly on Day 1 of the draft, ending the former second-round pick’s three-year tenure with the organization.

Following the trade, Brown was similarly critical of the Titans organization, noting that they never came close to offering him his asking price during negotiations. He also admitted that the Titans wouldn’t have even had to pony up and match the extension that he ultimately got from Philly (four years, $100MM), and he seemed to insinuate that it was Tennessee’s negotiation tactics that already resulted in a trade.

While Brown says he’s not upset about the trade, that hasn’t stopped him from talking about the Titans. He even recently took to Twitter to point out that fellow fourth-year wideouts Deebo Samuel, Terry McLaurin, and D.K. Metcalf all got their sizable extensions…but none of them were traded.

Now in Philadelphia, Brown will be looking to build a quick rapport with Jalen Hurts while guiding a WR room that also features DeVonta Smith, Quez Watkins, Zach Pascal, and Jalen Reagor.

Jets Looked Into A.J. Brown Trade

The wide receiver the Jets did end up with, Garrett Wilson, will be linked to a number of higher-profile pass catchers for a while. Because the Jets completed a thorough tour of the wideout trade market this offseason.

They made an offer that included the No. 10 overall pick for Deebo Samuel, were on the doorstep of a Tyreek Hill trade and were in the mix for Amari Cooper. The Jets also called the Seahawks on D.K. Metcalf. Rounding out this cycle, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com notes the team also looked into an A.J. Brown deal.

Going into the draft, Titans bigwigs continued to say their No. 1 wideout was not available. Extension talks and pro-extension sentiments were bandied about. That all fell apart on draft day, when the Titans decided a future with Brown — in a market affected by the Hill and Davante Adams trades — was not worth what it could cost to secure it. Tennessee sent Brown to Philadelphia for first- and third-round picks, leading to the Eagles’ monster extension (four years, $100MM, receiver-high $56MM fully guaranteed) and the Titans obtaining the No. 18 overall choice.

Prior to the Brown deal being announced, the Jets offered the 49ers the No. 10 pick. But that deal would have included San Francisco’s No. 61 selection going to New York. The 49ers stood pat, leading this complex Jets process to Wilson, whom Cimini notes the team had rated ahead of No. 8 overall pick Drake London. Gang Green’s offseason receiver frenzy nearly involved trading up to No. 9, in an effort to ensure no one traded ahead of the wideout-fixated franchise, but saw the Seahawks hang onto their pick and draft a tackle (Charles Cross).

This all clears the way for Wilson, whom Cimini notes the team will be prepared to use outside and in the slot. The 6-foot, 183-pound rookie will be expected to grow into the Jets’ No. 1 receiver, and although he lacks the proven ability of the players the team chased, the addition of the ex-Buckeyes talent rounds out a productive offseason for the AFC East squad at this spot. The team’s decision to re-sign Braxton Berrios gives it a top four of Wilson, Corey Davis, Elijah Moore and Berrios.

Whereas the others the Jets chased are tied to monster contracts or likely soon will be, in Samuel’s case, Wilson also comes at a rookie-deal price through at least 2024. The Jets have the ability to keep him on this pact through 2026. The Jets’ additions of C.J. Uzomah and Tyler Conklin stand to help out Zach Wilson as well, after recent seasons did not see much production from New York’s tight end position.

Draft Notes: Remaining QBs, Jets, Vikings, Burks, Johnson

One of the main storylines from last night’s first round was the fact that only one quarterback came off the board. The Steelers have their preferred choice in Kenny Pickett, but the other top options likely won’t have to wait long to hear their names called.

Jeff Howe of the Athletic reports (via Twitter) that “several teams” are trying to move up in the second round. As a result, there is “anticipation that a QB run could be on the way”. A number of teams could be interested in adding the likes of Malik Willis, Sam Howell, Desmond Ridder and Matt Corral as intriguing developmental options.

On that point, Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer names the Titans, Falcons, Seahawks and Commanders as teams to watch for. He reports that “Ridder’s name has been consistently connected to Tennessee”, who now holds the 35th overall pick. The other teams have done significant work on signal-callers as well. Perhaps eyeing a passer, the Seahawks have made “exploratory calls” about moving up tonight, per CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson (Twitter link).

Here are some other notes looking back on last night:

  • The Jets, as it has been reported, were willing to part with the No. 10 pick for Deebo Samuel. They almost made a different deal with that selection, though, as detailed by ESPN’s Rich Cimini (on Twitter). New York wanted to swap with Seattle for No. 9 to avoid a team leapfrogging them to select Garrett Wilson. Both teams were able to successfully stand pat, ultimately getting Charles Cross and Wilson, respectively.
  • Not long after the top-10 was complete, the Vikings ceded the 12th overall pick to the Lions. With their second first-rounder, Detroit selected Jameson Williams, who may have been the pick at that spot had Minnesota kept it. Breer reports that the Alabama receiver “was very much in play ” for the Vikings, who added Lewis Cine and two Day 2 picks as a result of the deal.
  • Another of the top receivers to be taken last night was Treylon Burks, whom the Titans selected as a replacement for A.J. BrownWhen speaking to Pat McAfee, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said the Arkansas alum “was the guy Aaron Rodgers wanted” (video link). With him off the board, the Packers extended their streak of not using a Round 1 pick on a wideout, but he reports that they are a candidate to trade up for one tonight (video link).
  • One of the most surprising fallers on Thursday night was pass rusher Jermaine Johnson II. Part of the reason he was still on the board for the Jets at No. 25, Breer notes, was poor interviews with teams in the pre-draft process. Thought by some as a top-10 pick, he ended up with the Jets anyway, and figures to serve as a notable boost to their pass rush.

Latest On A.J. Brown Trade

Amidst a slew of deals on Day 1 of the 2022 draft, A.J. Brown was traded from the Titans to the Eagles, making him the latest in a long line of wideouts on the move to new teams this offseason. When speaking to the media in the aftermath of the deal, Brown offered more details on his contract negotiations with Tennessee. 

“This wasn’t my fault” the 24-year-old said, via ESPN’s Turron Davenport. “I wanted to stay, but the deal they offered was a low offer. The deal they offered wasn’t even $20 million a year.”

More specifically, Brown said that Tennessee was willing to give him a contract valued at $16MM per season, with the potential to reach the $20MM mark through incentives. A source tells Dianna Russini of ESPN.com that the Titans’ offer was better than what Brown indicated, but that source did not divulge any additional details. Brown’s deal with the Eagles averages $25MM per annum, and during his own media availability, Titans general manager Jon Robinson said the gap between the two parties on contract terms led to the trade.

“We really started working on [the trade] over the last 18, 20 hours” Robinson said last night. “We had discussions back and forth and we realized we got to the point where it was going to be hard to get a deal done.” As a result, the Titans reversed course from their public stance in favor of re-signing him, and Brown has become another beneficiary of the exploding WR market.

The Pro Bowler made it clear that the Titans wouldn’t have needed to match the Eagles’ contract offer for him to remain in Nashville. “I would have stayed if they offered me $22 million,” he said. But regardless of the AAV, Russini reports that Brown was seeking close to $80MM in guaranteed money, though he “only” landed $57MM in guarantees from Philadelphia. Russini adds, even before that $80MM figure was floated, Brown had requested a trade (it was previously reported that the 49ers’ Deebo Samuel was the only member of the loaded 2019 wide receiver draft class that had asked to be dealt).

Even if they could have hammered out an extension worth $22MM per year with $57MM or so in guarantees, the Titans’ preference, clearly, was to re-stock the position with the much cheaper Treylon Burks, whom they selected with the 18th overall pick. He, alongside trade acquisition Robert Woods, will now head the team’s depth chart.

Trying to close the book on a controversial transaction, Robinson expressed gratitude for Brown during his three seasons with the team. “We really appreciate what A.J. has done here for our football team, on the field and in the community” he said.

“We wish A.J. nothing but the best moving forward”.

Rory Parks contributed to this post.

Titans Planning To Trade WR A.J. Brown To Eagles

And we’ve got a run on receiver trades! According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter), the Titans are planning to trade wideout A.J. Brown to the Eagles. Tennessee will receive picks No. 18 and No. 101, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero (on Twitter). The Eagles will also ink the receiver to a hefty extension; NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports (on Twitter), that the Eagles will sign Brown to a four-year, $100MM extension with $57MM in guaranteed money.

2021 was the first time Brown failed to amass 1,000 receiving yards and 9 total touchdowns in a season. While the season certainly wasn’t up to Brown’s usual standards, it was still a solid overall campaign. Despite being limited to the fewest games of his career, Brown finished with 53 receptions for 869 yards and five touchdowns.

The Eagles were hunting for receiver help this offseason, even after using a 2021 first-round pick on DeVonta Smith. The team was reportedly eyeing some of the draft’s top receiving prospects. Instead, the front office decided to make a splash with an established target for Jalen Hurts.

Brown and the Titans had preliminary talks on an extension, but after a deal couldn’t be reached, the wideout made it clear that he wouldn’t be participating in offseason programs. Considering the deals being handed out to wide receivers, Brown’s camp was seeking a contract that would pay him north of $20MM per season. The Titans could still use a player of Brown’s caliber, but the player’s pending extension and growing frustration ultimately led to a trade.

With their new selection, the Titans have selected Arkansas WR Treylon Burks. The wideout burst onto the scene following a solid 2020 campaign, and he took it to another level in 2021, finishing with 66 receptions for 1,104 yards and 11 touchdowns.

WR Rumors: Metcalf, Brown, Hamler, Higgins

While Deebo Samuel trade winds continue to blow, the Seahawks‘ situation with D.K. Metcalf appears calm. The fourth-year wideout is not expected to be traded, with ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler noting “strong indications” point to Metcalf staying put. Prior to Samuel’s trade request, it was Metcalf being linked to the Jets. The receiving-chasing team spoke with the Seahawks about Metcalf, but that conversation did not progress too far. The Jets might be willing to trade the No. 10 overall pick for Metcalf, who was 2019’s No. 64 choice, but that might still not be enough for the Seahawks. Metcalf has not yet revealed he will skip offseason work, putting this saga on steadier terrain than the other notable negotiations between fourth-year wideouts and their respective teams.

Here is the latest from the receiver scene:

  • Continuing to paint a picture of a long-term A.J. BrownTitans partnership, Fowler adds the fourth-year Tennessee wideout has been in touch with the coaching staff this offseason and that the sides’ relationship is fine. Mike Vrabel and Jon Robinson have said they want Brown in the fold long term. The Samuel and Metcalf situations have produced a few more early departure alerts than the ones involving Brown and Commanders wideout Terry McLaurin.
  • Suffering an ACL tear in late September, K.J. Hamler is back at work. The third-year Broncos wideout is running routes with new quarterback Russell Wilson, and GM George Paton called Hamler “well ahead of schedule” in his rehab. The Broncos managed to hang onto their top four receivers this offseason, despite parting with three players and five picks for Wilson, and Hamler has shown flashes in 16 career games. The recently extended Tim Patrick has effectively leapfrogged the Penn State product on Denver’s depth chart, however, leaving the 2020 second-rounder as an intriguing wild card as the team begins its Wilson era.
  • The shoulder surgery Tee Higgins underwent will shelve him for the entirety of the Bengals‘ offseason program, Zac Taylor said (via ESPN.com’s Ben Baby). The third-year receiver went under the knife to repair his left shoulder in March. This injury caused Higgins to miss two early-season games last year, but the Clemson product returned to make a big impact on Cincinnati’s Super Bowl LVI road.
  • Shifting to the draft, Georgia wideout George Pickens has emerged as a polarizing prospect. Some teams have the SEC-produced talent off their board altogether, citing character concerns, via SI.com’s Albert Breer. Others, however, have done extensive work on him. Pickens said the Cardinals, Chiefs and Packers have been the teams who have come in contact with him most, Fowler notes. Arizona and Kansas City have been linked to first-round wideouts, with the Chiefs connected to a Round 1 trade-up, while the Packers have famously not taken a first-round receiver since Javon Walker in 2002. Although the 6-foot-3 wideout referred to himself as the draft’s best wideout, he views his likely draft slot in the 25-45 range. Pickens, who posted 1,240 yards and 14 touchdowns between his freshman and sophomore seasons, is coming off a slate he largely missed due to a March 2021 ACL tear.