Tennessee Titans general manager Jon Robinson didn't "foresee" trading wide receiver A.J. Brown. A week later, the star receiver was shipped to Philadelphia.
The Titans traded Brown to the Eagles in exchange for the No. 18 and 101 picks in the 2022 NFL Draft, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported, per a source. Tennessee followed the trade using the No. 18 overall pick on Arkansas receiver Treylon Burks.
In three seasons, Brown generated 185 catches for 2,995 yards and 24 touchdowns. As one of the most dynamic receivers in the NFL, he was due a significant pay raise entering the final year of his rookie contract. Apparently, the Titans didn't want to pay that.
Following the trade, the Eagles were the ones to fork over that massive contract.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported that Philly and the Eagles agreed to a four-year extension worth $100 million with $57 million guaranteed, per sources informed of the deal.
"We got to a spot where it was going to be hard to get a deal done [with Brown]," Robinson explained on Thursday night, via the team website's Jim Wyatt.
In a since-deleted tweet, Brown said goodbye to Titans fans and noted that the trade wasn't his fault.
"Tennessee I love you and you will forever be in my heart and I can say this now," Brown wrote. "THIS WAS NOT MY FAULT. But I wish you all the best. Love"
It's been an offseason of big-name receivers on the move. Davante Adams was traded from Green Bay to Las Vegas. Tyreek Hill was shipped from Kansas City to Miami. Marquise Brown was traded to Arizona on Thursday, too. Now Brown goes from Tennessee to Philly.
Adams and Hill got their new deals huge deals following their trade. Brown followed suit in quick order.
In Philly, the big-bodied wideout pairs with 2021 first-round pick DeVonta Smith to form a dangerous duo for quarterback Jalen Hurts. Eagles general manager Howie Roseman is known to make big swings. He could have used a first-round pick on a receiver for the third-straight draft. Instead, he sent one to Tennessee for a proven commodity and one of the best young receivers in the game in Brown. The Eagles then locked down Brown long-term.
Roseman never disappoints in the offseason.
Burks (6-foot-2, 225 pounds) brings a large, physical presence to the fold, and though he might not boast prototypical NFL speed (4.55 40-yard dash), he's still a run-after-the-catch dynamo. Given his YAC acumen, the Titans likely view him as a younger version of Brown.
At Arkansas, Burks lined up everywhere, including in the backfield as a Wildcat quarterback, and racked up 66 receptions for 1,104 yards and 11 touchdowns. He was an All-SEC selection as a junior whose production improved by the season.
Burks can go up for contested catches and make impact plays in space, so he should provide an instant boost to the receiving corps and potentially the return game, as well. He'll pair with Robert Woods and Nick Westbrook-Ikhine in Tennessee's receiver corps.
The Titans decided they didn't want to pay Brown a $100 million contract, so they shipped him to Philly and picked a similar-style player under contract for the next five years.