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A.J. Brown on Trade to Philadelphia: 'I Won'

The former Tennessee Titans wide receiver says he got what he wanted with the four-year, $100 million extension he signed once he joined his new team.

A.J. Brown doesn’t intend to let time pass before he judges how his trade from the Tennessee Titans to the Philadelphia Eagles back in April worked out for all parties involved.

As far as the Pro Bowl pass-catcher is concerned, the verdict is in. And it has been for some time.

It has nothing to do with the fact that he is an integral part of what is currently the NFL’s best team. It is not about his statistics, which make him one of the game’s most productive players at his position once again. It does not involve the fact that only two teams have fewer passing yards thus far in 2022 than his former one.

In his mind, Brown declared victory once he signed a four-year, $100 million contract extension with the Eagles not long after the trade was finalized. The deal includes more than $57 million in guarantees, $40 million of which was his at the very moment he put pen to paper.

“Me personally, I feel like I won,” Brown said Wednesday. “I say that because I changed my family’s life forever. That’s the goal, especially growing up where I’m from.

“Of course, I wanted to do great, and it comes out of great things. But that’s the reason we play the game.”

The Titans, of course, wanted to be the ones to sign Brown to a contract extension.

After all, he more than measured up to the expectations that came when Tennessee selected him in the second round of the 2019 draft. The Ole Miss product was the team’s leading receiver in each of his first three seasons, a 2020 Pro Bowler and a fan favorite based on his obvious passion and competitiveness, a strong social media presence and his production.

Those talks broke down, though, which prompted general manager Jon Robinson to trade Brown to Philadelphia during the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. The Titans ended up with the 18th overall selection, which they used on wide receiver Treylon Burks, who they hoped would be a suitable replacement.

“Of course, I’ve come to peace about it,” Brown said. “I’m with the Eagles. We’re 10-1. We’re doing a really good job here. Of course, early on I had mixed emotions, but I changed my family’s life forever. That was the goal.

“I’m thankful for Tennessee, but I’m here in Philly now.”

The Eagles became the first team to win 10 games this season when they beat the Green Bay Packers 40-33 on Sunday night. They have one of the NFL’s highest-scoring offenses, one of the most productive running games and one of the most efficient passing games. Brown ranks among the league leaders in receiving yards and receiving touchdowns.

Without him, the Titans (7-4) rank 26th in scoring and have not put up more than 24 points in a game. They rank 29th in passing offense, and Burks – slowed by early injury issues – has 24 receptions for 334 yards, numbers that don’t quite measure up to Brown’s (53 catches, 831 yards, seven touchdowns). Brown’s only touchdown to date was a fumble recovery Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Nonetheless, Tennessee’s lead in the AFC South (three up in the win column) is more comfortable than the Eagles’ in the NFC East (two games).

For many, Sunday’s game between Tennessee and Philadelphia at Lincoln Financial Field – one of two this weekend between first-place teams – will be a natural and significant measuring stick when it comes to evaluating the trade.

Brown, however, says does not plan to make it about himself.

“It’s not personal,” he said. “It’s not personal at all. It’s another opportunity for me to play the game that I love.

“… We’ve been doing really good things here. We’re 10-1 here, and we’re trying to keep it going. It’s been everything I imagined.”

And in his mind, that’s a win.