The Philadelphia Eagles welcomed new receiver A.J. Brown to town on Monday during an introductory press conference. The one-time Pro Bowler was cautious about saying too much about his divorce from Tennessee, but he was more than willing to reveal his expectations for the 2022 season.
Brown wants to win a Super Bowl and hopes his passion to succeed can easily rub off on his new teammates. He won’t force them to do anything, though.
“That’s all I care about is winning,” Brown told reporters. “I’m not a big regular-season guy. I want to win it all, and that’s my expectation coming into this building. I’m not trying to put expectations on the team but I want to win. I haven’t won anything since I was in high school. So I know this is a great team, and a great organization that can get it done.”
Brown has been close to winning it all a few times in the NFL. The Titans advanced to the AFC Championship in 2019 but lost to the Kansas City Chiefs. They fell in the Wild Card Round in 2020, then went down in the Divisional Round in 2021.
He believes the combination of himself and Jalen Hurts can put the Eagles into the championship conversation. The two have known each other since high school and already share enviable chemistry.
“I think the sky’s the limit for him [Jalen]. I’m going to go to bat for him every Sunday because he’s my friend,” Brown said. “So it’s a different mentality you bring when you’re playing for somebody that’s important to you. It’s not about yourself no more, it’s about you playing for someone else, so I’m going to go above and beyond for this team and for him.”
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Brown Called Trade From Tennesse ‘Bittersweet’
Tennessee served as Brown’s first home in professional football, his stomping grounds for three years. The Titans invested a second-round pick in the physical receiver from Ole Miss and watched him rack up 2,995 yards and 24 touchdowns. The 6-foot-1, 226-pounder admitted to having “bittersweet” feelings about leaving that franchise, although he didn’t want to get into the nitty-gritty of how the trade went down.
“I wanted my work to be appreciated, that’s pretty much it,” Brown said.
There are multiple reports floating out there about what happened. Some claim Brown was seeking $80 million in guaranteed money while requesting at least $22 million per year. The Eagles worked out a contract extension set to pay him roughly $25 million per year — four years at $100 million, with $57 million guaranteed.
Brown didn’t want to get into all of that. “I’m not going to look backward,” he said. “I’m looking forward.”
Whatever happened, it’s clear the opportunity to team up with his good buddy Hurts served as the ultimate pot sweetener. You could say the childhood friends dreamed it into reality. Brown revealed Hurts told him last week — after that viral workout session — that he was going to lobby the Eagles’ front office to make the trade.
“I think Jalen was kind of putting the bug in their ear and it just kind of happened,” Brown said. “In the middle of the throwing session, Jalen said he’s going to ask them to trade for me and we were just laughing and joking, and we had no idea that this would happen, so … we just went with it and I’m glad it happened.”
Don’t Worry About Those Health Concerns
Brown endured his fair share of health issues in 2021, including surgery on both knees after the 2020 season ended. He missed four games in 2021 while battling knee, hamstring, chest, and calf injuries.
There is a rumor that the Eagles gave him a medical red flag ahead of the 2019 NFL draft. Brown can’t go back in time and erase his previous injuries, but he was willing to update his current status. He’s in the best shape of his life.
“I feel wonderful,” Brown said. “I’m in great shape, I’m leaner.”
Brown also had one more message for everyone doubting he’s worth $100 million, a contract that puts him on par with the best receivers in the NFL.
“I’m one of the top guys in the league,” Brown said. “I’m confident in how I play, what I bring to the table, I’m glad the Eagles believed in me.”