A.J. Brown trade grades for Eagles, Titans: Philly gets top mark, Tennessee finds replacement with draft pick


The Philadelphia Eagles and Tennessee Titans made a biggest blockbuster trade during the 2022 NFL Draft, as Philadelphia acquired A.J. Brown from Tennessee in exchange for the No. 18 pick and a third-round pick (No. 101 overall). Brown signed a four-year, $100 million extension with the Eagles immediately after the trade, giving the Pro Bowl wide receiver $57 million guaranteed. 

How did the Eagles and Titans fare in this deal? Let’s grade the deal for both sides (and check out all the picks and our grades in our draft tracker):

Eagles: A

The Eagles struck out on every wide receiver target through the offseason, failing to give up draft capital for one of the top veteran receivers on the market. That came after missing out on landing Calvin Ridley due to a gambling suspension. Eagles general manager Howie Roseman kept his plans to acquire a wide receiver under the vest, even if the signs were pointing toward Philadelphia trying to get someone to help out Jalen Hurts. 

The Eagles didn’t appear to get their wide receiver in the top half of the draft either, as Drake London, Garrett Wilson, and Jameson Williams were off the board by the time Philadelphia picked — the Eagles traded up to No. 13 from No. 15 overall, putting themselves in play for Williams before the Detroit Lions took him at No. 12. 

Out of the blue, the Eagles got a young, talented No. 1 receiver for Jalen Hurts — one of his closest friends in Brown. Philadelphia gave up its second first-round pick (No. 18) and a third-round pick (No. 101) to get Brown and sign him to a massive contract extension — four years, $100 million with $57 million guaranteed.

The Eagles certainly landed a playmaker in Brown, who has 24 touchdown catches since the start of 2019. (DK Metcalf is the only one from his draft class to have more after his first three years.) His 185 catches and 2,995 receiving yards are the second most for a player after three seasons in Titans franchise history. Brown is averaging 16.19 yards per catch since the start of the 2019 season, only trailing Mike Williams (16.78) for the best mark of the NFL (minimum 150 receptions). 

Brown will pair with DeVonta Smith to form one of the youngest wide receiver tandems in the NFL (Brown turns 25 this year and Smith is 23). Quez Watkins (23) will line up in the slot, with Hurts (23) having his a young receiver trio to build with. The Eagles had just 1,993 receiving yards from the WRs in 2021, third-fewest in the NFL. Getting Brown was necessary for a team with hopes of competing for the NFC East in 2022. 

Titans: B

The Titans couldn’t work out a long-term deal with Brown, getting the Eagles’ second first-round pick (No. 18) and their second third-round pick (No. 101) for a receiver that didn’t appear in the first phase of offseason activities in search for a new deal. Brown led the Titans in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns in each of the past three seasons — so losing him was a big blow to the offense. 

Tennessee rallied quickly in replacing Brown, drafting Treylon Burks at No. 18 overall. Burks accounted for 37.2% of Arkansas’ receiving yards the past two seasons and played 82.9% of his career snaps in the slot. A physical receiver in the mold of Deebo Samuel, Burks led the SEC with 22 plays of 20-plus yards last year. Tennessee can use Burks in RPO situations, finding ways to get the football in his hands as the top option next to Robert Woods. 

Burks may never have the impact of Brown, who was second in Titans history in receptions and receiving yards after his first three seasons, but he’s a good consolation prize. The Titans’ failure to sign Brown to a long-term deal makes an excellent second-round pick three years ago all for naught. Hopefully, the same fate doesn’t happen with Burks. 



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