The Philadelphia Eagles made a splash in Thursday’s NFL Draft, sending the 18th and 101st picks to the Tennessee Titans for wideout A.J. Brown.
“This wasn’t my fault,” Brown said to ESPN’s Turron Davenport. “I wanted to stay, but the deal they offered was a low offer.”
The disgruntled star faced an uncertain situation in Tennessee amidst contract disputes, prompting the NFC East representatives to extend the trade offer. Phili then quickly agreed to a four-year, $100m deal with $57m guaranteed, locking him up as current number-one DeVonta Smith’s partner on the flanks.
Fallout from the A.J. Brown trade
24-year-old Brown was entering the final year of his rookie deal and had been scheduled to make just under $4m this season; he amassed 2,995 yards and 24 touchdowns during his first three professional seasons, helping lead the Titans to the 2019 AFC championship game, and last season, a regular-season title.
Tennessee attempted to quell rumors that Brown could be on his way out, only to ultimately send him to the City of Brotherly Love on draft night and select Arkansas receiver Treylon Burks with the compensatory 18th pick.
“At the end of the day, we have to make— I have to make— the hard decisions,” Titans general manager Jon Robinson said. “Certainly, the finances impact the decisions and trying to get value when we can. And that’s the decision we made today.”
Brown was the perfect complement to MVP candidate and former teammate Derrick Henry, offering physicality outside the numbers that was especially prevalent in the red zone. In the four games that Brown did not feature in last season, quarterback Ryan Tannehill averaged a pedestrian 183.8 yards, half a touchdown, and half an interception.
The future of the Eagles
Brown is expected to take over as the main X receiver in Phili’s offense, kicking Smith to the other side or occasionally the slot. Because he is so tall and strong, he will be able to make contested catches that many players on the Eagles could not.
The trade also officially starts the clock on quarterback Jalen Hurts, who has failed to convince in his first two seasons as a pro. With two first-round investments and a proven elite commodity, the pressure is on Hurts to prove that he can carry a franchise or face a future on the bench.
The season is still months away, but Eagles coach Nick Sirianni is already pumped to see Brown in the green and white.
“We’re really excited to have [Brown] on this team,” Sirianni said. “He’s a strong man, he’s quick for a big guy and he catches everything. There is no projection. You’ve seen him do it in the NFL for three years now.’”
The trade was the Eagles’ second of the night— the first was a deal they made with the Houston Texans, which saw them recoup the 13th selection for picks 15, 124, 162, and 166. Philadelphia then turned around and spent their new pick on Georgia defensive tackle Jordan Davis, a 6-foot-6, 340-pound rock that was the heart of the Bulldogs’ national championship-winning defense.
Davis is a freak of nature; not only did he anchor one of the best collegiate defenses of all time, but his 4.78-second 40-yard dash was the fastest ever recorded for a player above 325 pounds. He finished 2021 with 32 total tackles and two sacks while being used mostly as a two-down, run-stuffing player.
Most sportsbooks had the Eagles at +4500 odds to win the upcoming Super Bowl, a figure which has shifted to +3500 since last night’s trades. FanDuel has Phili as having the second-best odds to win the NFC East at +240, trailing the Dallas Cowboys at +105.
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