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Best Offseason Move?: Former Ole Miss WR A.J. Brown Dubbed Top Move Of 2022

Former NFL executive and Sports Illustrated's Andrew Brandt believes that of every offseason move, A.J. Brown's trade to Philadelphia was the best

Fans across the football realms were blown away by the news coming out of Las Vegas on a Thursday evening in April. The Philadelphia Eagles were back on the clock at No. 18 and looked to be adding a receiver to pair with second-year pro-DeVonta Smith. 

The Eagles added a receiver, but instead of drafting one, they traded two picks to the Tennessee Titans to grab A.J. Brown. Now, the former Ole Miss pass-catcher will pair with former Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts to see if the duo can bring a championship to the City of Brotherly Love. 

It's now being called by some "the move of the offseason." At least former executive Andrew Brandt believes it is entering rookie minicamp and OTAs. 

The Brown situation, in my opinion, is even more a game-changer than what happened with Kirk, Adams and Hill. Kirk was a free agent; that brings up a different kind of leverage. Adams and Hill have had many years of elevated performance for Super Bowl–contending teams. Brown, however, is neither a free agent nor a player with a long history in the league. His situation is similar to that of Deebo Samuel, an ascending player still in his rookie contract. As the 49ers are doing with Samuel, the Titans could simply not react to any rumbles of discontent from Brown. They both represent great value for their teams: high-performing young players with a year left on an undervalued rookie contract.  - Andrew Brandt 

Tennessee Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown (11) gains yards during the first quarter of the AFC Championship game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020 in Kansas City, Mo. (Andrew Nelles / Tennesseean)
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By adding in Brown, the Eagles take on a legitimate No. 1 receiver with experience rather than reaching on a prospect with potential. Philadelphia is still feeling the heat of its fans for passing on All-Pro Justin Jefferson in 2020 for TCU product Jalen Reagor. 

Brown's presence on the field adds a physical element to Nick Sirianni's offense that was missing last year on the way to a 9-8 record. Smith, the 2020 Heisman winner, has the tools to be a high-volume option, but the limitations of his 186-frame make him fragile when working the middle of the field. 

Brown's biggest attribute is the ability to gain the heavy yards after the catch, having averaged 16.2 yards per reception. Brown also has recorded back-to-back 1,000-yard campaigns while working with Ryan Tannehill as his starter. 

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That's not even the reason the former Rebels star might be the biggest winner. Brandt also cites his new contract — a four-year, $100 million deal that will keep him on the roster through 2026. 

A $25 million asking price is a steep call for a receiver, but the market is expanding. Fellow Rebels alum DK Metcalf is looking for a payday in Seattle. So are Terry McLaurin (Washington), Deebo Samuel (San Francisco) and Marquise Brown (Arizona). 

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The asking price is set by Brown's contract. That alone is a steal for Eagles' GM  Howie Roseman. 

Brown, unlike Samuel, was able to hit the trifecta: (1) a trade out of Tennessee, (2) a massive new contract at the level of players with much longer histories of production, and (3) a reunion with his old friend Jalen Hurts on a more visible and valuable franchise. - Brandt

A three-year starter for Ole Miss, Brown recorded 189 receptions for 2,984 yards and scored 19 touchdowns while averaging 15.9 yards per play. Since being selected No. 51 overall in 2019, the 24-year-old has tallied 185 catches for 2,995 yards and 24 touchdowns. 


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