One of the main reasons why A.J. Brown accepted a trade to Philadelphia was for the opportunity to catch passes from Jalen Hurts. The quarterback-receiver tandem — best friends dating back to high school — broke records in their first season together and nearly won a Super Bowl. Don’t break up the band. Ever.
Hurts is expected to head to the negotiating table with the Eagles’ front office very soon. It’s a critical tipping point for the organization, with general manager Howie Roseman potentially poised to offer the new face of the franchise a contract totaling $265 million.
Prior to those talks, Brown made sure to go on record regarding his own future in Philly and how it is tied to Hurts. The Pro Bowler signed up to play with his best friend and he’s prepared to leave town if Hurts doesn’t get a long-term contract.
“They gotta give Jalen the house. The building. The state,” Brown told the Raw Room podcast, hosted by Daren Bates and Jalen Collins. “They gotta pay him. I love Philly and listen to what I’m about to say, ‘If you do not pay this man just ship me off wherever he finna go. I’m out. I’m telling you. So, you talk about pressure, ‘Howie, get it done.’ They gonna get it done, though.”
Brown was laughing as he spoke and all indications are that the Eagles will pay Hurts. Roseman all but guaranteed it during his end-of-year press conference.
“Obviously, we want to keep our best players here for the long term. And he’s certainly one of our best players,” Roseman told reporters. “So that’s something we’ll keep all the contract talks internal but we’d definitely like to keep Jalen Hurts here long term.”
AJ Brown Received Offers From Chiefs, Jets
The Eagles closed the deal for Brown minutes before they were set to go on the clock and make the 18th overall pick. They sent the selection to the Tennessee Titans after finalizing a $100 million extension for a guy who would go on to secure 88 catches for 1,496 yards.
It seems like a well-orchestrated plan now, but Brown revealed a tense process behind the scenes. He actually was crying when the trade went down. He felt betrayed by the Titans.
“I go work out. I’m pissed off,” Brown said when his agent informed him the Titans were shopping him. “I’m like that’s not what I was hearing, that’s not what they be telling me, you know what I’m saying? I gave everything I had, played hurt, everything, so that’s when like my feelings got involved with all the s***. I can say that now because I matured through the whole thing.”
Credit Hurts for expediting everything. He had been serving as the middleman between Brown and Roseman in the weeks leading up to the trade. At first, it was just a joke among friends and then it became reality on the morning of April 28, 2022.
Brown recalled (via Raw Room): “Jalen said, ‘Howie ain’t talking about nothing for real.’ Then I get a phone call in the morning from Jalen saying Howie trying to talk about it for real. So, probably like an hour later, my agent calls me and says, ‘Hey, Philly is like trying to really push for you.’ I had heard from a couple of teams, the Chiefs tried to get me, a couple of other teams, the Jets … but Philly was making a strong push. All that went down and then I get another phone call from my agent and he’s like, ‘This is happening.'”
Tennessee Spread Misinformation to Philadelphia
According to Brown, the Titans were trying to sabotage the deal by misrepresenting a “cleanup” surgery on both knees that the receiver had undergone after the 2020 season. He missed four games in 2021 but the procedure was a minor one that never affected his long-term health. Brown got word that the Titans medical staff was spreading lies about the severity of his knees in an effort to stop a trade.
“The guys in Tennessee were trying to tell Philly that I’m hurt,” Brown told the Raw Room. “The medical staff was telling them I had surgery on my knee. It was a scope.”
If the receiver was damaged goods, then they could sign him to a lowball offer. Which was hurtful to Brown because his preference was to remain in Tennesee.
“The Titans offered me 16 [million], up to 20 with incentives,” Brown said. “I would’ve taken 22 [million] to stay in Tennessee.”