Some people have been blaming A.J. Brown for jacking up the price tag on wide receiver contracts. More specifically, Brown has been catching heat from Tennessee Titans fans for failing to communicate exactly what he wanted.
The 25-year-old Pro Bowler has bit his tongue publicly about that divorce, saying only “I wanted my work to be appreciated.” But Brown took to Twitter on Sunday night to defend himself in the wake of Deebo Samuel’s three-year, $73.5 million extension. He wrote: “yeah, keep believing it was me.”
His critics saw it as a direct shot at the Titans. Their point being that Brown was the lone player to get traded among a group of four high-profile receivers from the 2019 draft class to cash in this offseason: Brown and Samuel, plus Terry McLaurin and DK Metcalf.
The Philadelphia Eagles immediately rewarded Brown with a four-year, $100 million deal after trading for him on draft night. He owns the third highest WR contract overall, fifth highest WR annual salary at $25 million. Again, Brown doesn’t want to hear that any of it was his fault.
Brown thanked the Titans’ organization for his three seasons there at his introductory press conference in Philadelphia. He promised there was no bad blood.
“I wanted my work to be appreciated, that’s pretty much it,” Brown said. “It’s a business, things happen, and you move on, and I appreciate the Titans for everything they did for me, the people down there … I have no bad blood with the Titans. They believed in me. They drafted me, so they got my career started.”
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Titans Couldn’t Afford Brown: ‘Low Ball Offer’
Whether things got contentious or not is anyone’s guess. Neither side has admitted to that. However, Brown did tell ESPN’s Turron Davenport that Tennessee sent him a “low offer.” It was less than $20 million per year.
“This wasn’t my fault,” Brown told 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.”
Seeing the writing on the wall, and unwilling to pony up a beefier offer, the Titans decided to move their star in a blockbuster trade. Tennessee sent him to Philadelphia in exchange for the No. 18 and No. 101 picks in the 2022 NFL draft. The Titans used one of those picks to take his replacement, Arkansas receiver Treylon Burks.
Loving the Friendly Reception in Sunny Philadelphia
Brown is now catching passes from his best friend Jalen Hurts and he couldn’t be happier. He’s been all smiles during the opening days of training camp while showing off his strength and physicality. The Eagles got themselves a playmaker at receiver. And the Philly faithful have been eating it up.
“It was very passionate, as soon as I came out here, I heard some cheers, I definitely feel the love,” Brown said of the fan reception on Day 1. “Ever since I been here in Philly the city’s been showing me love. I appreciate it wholeheartedly and now it’s my job to go do what I do, have fun, and play some football.”