Making Sense of the A.J. Brown Draft-Night Blockbuster

    • The Titans are already the NFL’s biggest spenders on offense — $123.5M in 2022.
    • The Eagles' rookie core gives them more financial flexibility.

Once again, the NFL’s wide receiver carousel managed to steal the show this offseason.

During the first round of Thursday’s NFL Draft, the Titans traded WR A.J. Brown to the Eagles in exchange for the 18th and 101st overall picks in the draft.

Tennessee used that first-round selection to take WR Treylon Burks, while Philadelphia signed Brown to a four-year, $100 million contract with $57 million guaranteed — the league’s third-highest WR deal in total value.

The moves make financial sense for both sides — the Titans had no room for a Brown payday, while the Eagles came into the draft with far more flexibility.

  • Brown told ESPN he was looking for a long-term extension with the Titans, but claimed the offer they gave him was too low — “wasn’t even $20 million a year.”
  • Tennessee traded for WR Robert Woods this offseason, inheriting his four-year, $65M deal from the Rams; the Titans are already the NFL’s biggest spenders on offense — $123.5M in 2022.
  • QB Jalen Hurts, WR Jalen Reagor, and WR Devonta Smith are all on rookie contracts, accounting for only a combined $9.8M against the Eagles’ 2022 cap.
  • The final year of Brown’s Titans deal will account for just $4M against the 2022 cap.

The question now will be if the moves pay off on the field.

Brown is coming off a down year in which he caught 63 passes for a career-low 869 yards and five touchdowns. Philadelphia had the room to gamble on a bounceback season and his prime years.

Burks — presumably Brown’s replacement — had an impressive career at Arkansas but faces questions about his lack of elite speed.