A.J. Brown just wanted to get paid.
With good reason, Brown figured. Tennessee drafted Brown in the second round of the 2019 draft and he instantly became one of the top receivers in the game. He topped 1,000 yards receiving each of his first two seasons and had 869 in just 13 games in his third.
Big games for the Titans? You bet he had them.
Like his 10 receptions for 155 yards in a 2021 game against the Colts. Or the five receptions for 142 yards he had the same season in Tennessee’s playoff loss to Cincinnati.
Brown had well outperformed the contract that would have paid him $4 million in the final season of his rookie deal. Brown wanted $22 million, he said the Titans offered $16 million and the gap was enough to put him on the trade market.
The contract dispute was all the Eagles needed to swoop in and make the draft-night deal for Brown that instantly made him the franchise’s best wide receiver since Terrell Owens.
Philly paid up — a $100 million, four-year contract with $57 million guaranteed. The other big win for Brown was joining longtime friend and star QB Jalen Hurts to lead the Eagles to an NFL-best 10-1 record into Sunday’s game against the Titans (7-4).
“Of course it means a lot, but I’ve got to be professional about it,” Brown said.
Brown, though, is finally ready to make the Titans pay. Maybe not in the cash he wanted. But with an L on the scoreboard.
“I’ve come to peace about it,” Brown said. “I’m with the Eagles and we’re 10-1. We’re doing a really good job here. Of course, early on, I had mixed emotions. I changed my family’s life forever. That was the goal. I’m thankful for Tennessee, but I’m here in Philly now.”
Brown already has 53 receptions for 831 yards and seven touchdowns with the Eagles and has two games with 155-plus yards receiving. He caught three touchdown passes in a win against Pittsburgh, though he has fumbled each of the last two games and has 113 yards combined the last three games. Brown has contended with a lingering ankle injury and a stomach illness that sidelined him from practice last week.
Ahead of this week’s matchup, Brown spoke about playing his former team.
“Oh, they hate me,” the Philadelphia Eagles star told NFL Network’s James Palmer ahead Sunday’s Week 13 game against the Titans. “Part of it is my fault. I mean, some people still love me, but I think the majority of their fans are out to get me. It’s a part of it, though.”
A.J. Brown, with a grin, told us after the Eagles game on Sunday night of Titans fans:
"Oh they hate me. Part of it is my fault. I mean some people still love me, but I think the majority of their fans are out to get me. it's a part of it though."
— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) November 30, 2022
The NFL is a business, fans need to get over themselves.
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