A.J. Brown

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.

Latest on Titans WR A.J. Brown

The Titans have done everything this offseason to convince wide receiver A.J. Brown that they want him on their football team, short of offering him the contract he apparently desires. 

We’ve seen reports from general manager Jon Robinson that Tennessee has no plans to trade their star wide receiver, according to Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network, and, rightly, they shouldn’t want to. Despite a small history of injuries in his three-year career, Brown is one of the Titans’ most explosive and consistent playmakers, even in an offense last year that was missing former-Titan Corey Davis and running back Derrick Henry and had Julio Jones looking like a shell of his former self.

Head coach Mike Vrabel expressed his love for Brown on the “Rich Eisen Show,” and made it clear that Brown won’t be traded “as long as (he’s) the head coach,” according to Dianna Russini of ESPN. Russini went on to report that Brown has no interest in participating in any team events without a new deal.

The sides are working towards an extension, but, so far, haven’t found room to meet in the middle. Former-Colts punter Pat McAfee spoke with NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport concerning an alleged phone call between disgruntled 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel and Brown, who share an agent. In the call, the person assumed to be Brown claims an offer from his team of $20MM per year, with no clarification on the deal’s length. Rapoport, who admittedly did not corroborate that the video of the phone call was real, said that $20MM would be a good starting point for negotiations, as teams don’t tend to put their best offers out their to start.

Before this offseason, it would make sense for Brown to be getting a deal around $20MM per year. The numbers that he’s put up in his career are similar to other receivers who make that much, such as Mike Williams, Chris Godwin, and Amari Cooper, and, with Brown being a bit younger than those three, he might command a bit more money with the expectation that he’ll be around longer in his prime. The deal that most likely changed Brown’s expectations, was the contract the Jaguars gave to Christian Kirk. If Kirk can command $18MM per year having never recorded a 1,000-yard receiving season in his four-year career, surely Brown should command far more after doing so in both of his first two years in the league.

In his worst statistical year last season, where Brown played in the least amount of games of his career and was the only player defenses needed to focus on, Brown still produced, catching 63 balls for 869 yards and 5 touchdowns in 13 games. It was the first time he failed to amass 1,000 receiving yards and 9 total touchdowns in a season.

Seeing how important Brown is to the Titans’ offense, combined with the expected holdout Brown has threatened, Robinson and Vrabel will likely be feeling the pressure to concede sooner rather than later. Salaries are constantly rising to new heights in the NFL, and, if Tennessee loves their star receiver as much as they say they do, why not make an example by giving him a contract that shows it?

Chiefs Unlikely To Trade For Samuel, Other Top WRs

In the aftermath of Deebo Samuel‘s trade request, attention has turned to which teams could make the most sense as potential destinations. Given the state of their wide receiver room, the Chiefs have been named as a team which would, presumably, be interested in adding him. As noted by NFL Network’s Jeffri Chadiha, however, such a move doesn’t appear to be forthcoming (Twitter link). 

[RELATED: 49ers Not Expected To Trade Samuel]

He reports that a trade for not only Samuel, but other top young wideouts like A.J. Brown, D.K. Metcalf and Terry McLaurin “isn’t likely”. Brown and McLaurin are expected to skip the voluntary portions of their team’s offseason programs, leading to speculation they too could be on the move. Chadiha has been told, however, that those options “are probably all long shots at this point”.

The Chiefs traded away Tyreek Hill after they couldn’t reach an agreement regarding a new contract. They have since made two veteran additions in JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling, but many expect more to come. Currently listed as having more than $18MM in cap space, Kansas City could easily accommodate the final year of those 2019 draftees’ rookie contracts, though negotiations on an extension would of course be another matter altogether.

The Chiefs also have the 29th and 30th overall picks in next week’s draft, so they will have the option to add a significant pass-catcher that way. It appears that – or the remaining waves of free agency – will remain the most likely route the team takes to try to maintain their passing attack’s strength in Hill’s absence.

Deebo Samuel, A.J. Brown, Terry McLaurin Won’t Participate In Offseason Programs

Three of the top wide receivers currently on their rookie contracts are taking steps to apply pressure to their respective teams regarding new deals. Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Deebo Samuel, A.J. Brown and Terry McLaurin are among the players not expected to take part in the on-field portion of their clubs’ offseason programs (Twitter link). 

Those three were taken in the second and, in McLaurin’s case, third round of the 2019 Draft. As a result, Samuel and Brown are scheduled to make just under $4MM in 2022, while McLaurin is due $2.79MM. Those figures rank each player far lower down the list of wideout salaries than they will be when they sign a second contract, especially given the upward trend seen in the WR market this offseason.

Extensions signed by Tyreek Hill, Davante Adams and Stefon Diggs are chief among the new deals comfortably averaging more than $20MM per season. As a result of other lucrative contracts handed out over the past month, the number of wideouts set to make or eclipse that mark is now nine. Between that fact, and the expected surge in the salary cap ceiling in the near future, a number of young receivers will be requesting sizeable new pacts as early as possible.

Samuel has long been named as a top financial priority for the 49ers. In 2021 especially, he demonstrated his unique ability in both the passing and running games, posting 1,770 scrimmage yards and 14 total touchdowns. That led to a report last week claiming he will be seeking around $25MM per season.

Brown, meanwhile, had his worst statistical season in 2021. In 13 games, he still totalled 869 receiving yards and averaged nearly 14 yards per catch. He has two 1,000-yard seasons and a Pro Bowl to his name, and extension talks have begun between him and the Titans. As for McLaurin, his production despite inconsistent QB play has been impressive; he has recorded 222 receptions for 3,090 yards and 16 scores, making his extension a priority for Washington.

As Schefter notes, McLaurin will still attend the Commanders’ program, which starts today. Still, the fact that he and the others will not be on the field signals their desire to get extended before the final year of their rookie deals begins in the fall.

Titans Not Fielding Trade Calls On A.J. Brown

Earlier this offseason, the Titans made it clear they saw signing wideout A.J. Brown to a new contract as a top priority. Despite his name being included in trade speculation, that remains the case, as reported by ESPN’s Dianna Russini (Twitter link). 

[RELATED: Titans, Brown Begin Extension Talks]

As she states, the Titans “are not shopping or taking calls on” Brown, who has one year remaining on his rookie contract. The 24-year-old was one of several noteworthy WRs taken in the second round in 2019, and has established himself as the Titans’ No. 1 at the position. He already has two 1,000-yard seasons and a Pro Bowl appearance to his name.

It came as no surprise, then, when general manager Jon Robinson turned his attention to an extension for Brown following the one given to edge rusher Harold Landry. “A.J. is a Titan, and we want to keep A.J. a Titan” he said, aiming at a new deal “whenever that manifests itself”.

In the short time which has elapsed since those “very, very preliminary” contract talks started, it doesn’t appear as though any significant inroads have been made. At the latest, the two parties have until next offseason to get a new deal done; by that time, though, the likes of Deebo Samuel, D.K. Metcalf and Terry McLaurin could all have second contracts of their own.

Of those three, Metcalf has been the most involved with respect to trade talk, but Seattle intends to retain Brown’s former Ole Miss teammate. If Tennessee does the same, teams in need of help in the pass-catching department will need to look elsewhere.

Titans, A.J. Brown Begin Extension Talks

The Titans made extending their 2018 second-round draftee their pre-free agency centerpiece item, coming to an agreement with Harold Landry. Their next core task will be extending their 2019 Round 2 pick.

A.J. Brown and the Titans have begun extension talks, according to GM Jon Robinson, who confirmed the team wants the standout wide receiver in Tennessee long-term. While the discussions are “very, very preliminary,” per Robinson, the recent activity on the receiver market injects additional intrigue into the situation. Brown became extension-eligible in January.

A.J. is a Titan, and we want to keep A.J. a Titan,” Robinson said, via Jim Wyatt of TennesseeTitans.com. “And that’s part of our goal this offseason, or whenever that manifests itself, to come to an agreement to keep him around.”

Despite not using their franchise tag on Landry, the Titans extended their top edge rusher hours after the deadline passed. The team has more time with Brown, but the blossoming pass catcher is going into a contract year. And the wide receiver market has exploded over the past several days, with both Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill topping DeAndre Hopkins‘ 2020 extension.

Brown reaching the Adams or Hill tier might be unrealistic, but his age (24) and production work to his advantage. The Raiders and Dolphins’ extension decisions raised the bar for a 2019 draft class that includes Brown, Deebo Samuel, D.K. Metcalf and Terry McLaurin. Being drafted outside the first round, and thus not restricted by the fifth-year option, this promising quartet will play a key role in where the receiver market goes in the coming months. It will be interesting to see which teams move forward with big-ticket extensions on this recently adjusted market and which clubs hold off. The franchise tag may well come into play with members of this group.

A Metcalf Ole Miss teammate, Brown started his career with two 1,000-yard seasons and is one of the NFL’s top young wideouts. Brown missed four games with chest and hamstring injuries last season but remains Tennessee’s top aerial weapon. He will have a new veteran complement in 2022, with the Titans trading for Robert Woods, who is attached to a deal that runs through 2025. Woods’ Rams-constructed extension calls for a 2022 base salary of $10MM and $13.75MM salaries in 2023 and ’24. Beyond 2022, none of Woods’ money is guaranteed.