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Brown Addresses Departure from Titans

The Pro Bowl wide receiver described being traded to the Philadelphia Eagles as 'bittersweet,' expressed appreciation for first three NFL seasons.

In the moments after he learned last week’s trade to the Philadelphia Eagles had become official, former Tennessee Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown said he experienced “bittersweet” emotions –sadness at what he left behind and excitement about what is to come.

But it’s what led to the trade that’s become of great interest for Titans fans.

Brown told ESPN after the trade that the move “wasn’t his fault,” adding that the Titans’ offer for a contract extension topped out at $16 million per season with incentives that would have driven the deal up to a $20 million average.

There are two sides to every story, though, and information that came to light later made it appear Brown had: A) asked to be traded; B) sought a contract worth well more than what he eventually got from the Eagles (which was four years at an average of $25 million); and C) had cut off communications with the Titans weeks before the move occurred.

Brown was asked about at least one of those pieces of information – whether or not he asked for a trade – at a press conference in Philadelphia on Monday.

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He paused and laughed lightly before responding, steering clear of a direct answer.

“I’m (going to) try not to get into all that,” Brown said. “I’m not going to look backwards. I’m moving forward. Like I said, I’m excited.”

It had become fairly clear this offseason that Brown – who was eligible for an extension – had grown frustrated a new deal hadn’t been quickly settled. All around Brown, more experienced receivers seemed to be getting record-breaking deals. The list was extensive, but even included less accomplished receivers such as Christian Kirk, who signed a four-year, $72 million free-agent pact with Jacksonville.

Titans general manager Jon Robinson and coach Mike Vrabel both said last week the team went to the extreme to get a deal done with Brown, making the trade only after realizing the gap between player and team was far too wide to bridge.

“I just wanted my work to be appreciated,” Brown said. “That’s pretty much it.

”I’m one of the top guys in the league, and I’m confident in how I play and what I bring to the table. I’m glad the Eagles believed in me.”

Tennessee Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown (11) smiles during a training camp practice at Saint Thomas Sports Park Thursday, July 29, 2021 in Nashville, Tenn.