The 2022 NFL Draft hardly went as anyone expected it to. Early on in the event, the Tennessee Titans made the decision to trade away star wide receiver A.J. Brown to the Philadelphia Eagles in a blockbuster deal. That was among the biggest surprises.

The Eagles received Brown while the Titans acquired the 18th and 101st overall picks from Philadelphia. With that No. 18 pick, the Tennessee picked up former Arkansas Razorbacks wide receiver Treylon Burks. While Burks had a successful career in Fayetteville and has flashed a great amount of upside, to be willing to part ways with a standout player baffled many.

Brown experienced a quick rise in Tennessee, putting together a pair of 1,000-plus yard seasons in his first two years there and came close to that number in Year 3 — catching 105 passes for 869 yards with five touchdowns.

It’s also worth noting that this came in a season in which there was more to be desired from veteran quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who initially gave the impression that a change of scenery in Tennessee was all he needed to reach his ceiling before faltering and raising some questions.

Tannehill himself finished out 2021 with a 67.2% completion rate, 3,734 passing yards, 21 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. That was his worst ratio since he came to Tennessee in 2019 from the Miami Dolphins.

  • Ryan Tannehill stats (2019-21): 67% completion, 10,295 yards, 76 TD, 27 INT, 102.0 rating

 

Tennessee Titans’ trade of A.J. Brown was about money

There were many comments from both the Titans and Browns since the trade to Philadelphia was finalized back in April. But the decision for Tennessee appeared to boil down to money. Brown knows his worth and had been after a lucrative long-term deal. Brown, 24, was entering the last year of his rookie contract and was scheduled to make a base salary of under $4 million in 2022.

That pales in comparison to the four-year, $100 million dollar contract he signed with the Eagles. Titans general manager Jon Robinson made financial references when asked about Brown and the team going their separate ways this offseason.

“At the end of the day, we have to make — I have to make — the hard decisions. And there’s a lot of things that impact those decisions. Certainly, the finances impact the decisions and trying to get value when we can. And that’s the decision we made today.”