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Is A.J. Brown The Answer To Upgrading The Eagles’ Receiving Corps?

The NFL is changing. It seems that the players have more leverage than ever before. Enough, perhaps, to force a team’s hand in trading them?

When juxtaposing the NFL to the NBA, the primary difference we see when it comes to transactions is the balance of power. In the NBA, big stars can utilize a host of strategies to manifest their desires.

A.J. Brown is a superstar wide receiver. Approaching free agency in 2023, the 24-year-old player is one of the game’s bright young stars. Furthermore, he seems to be a great friend of Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterback Jalen Hurts.

Is Free Agency Leverage Enough?

The wide receiver market has been reset.

The Jacksonville Jaguars signed Christian Kirk to a four-year deal worth up to a surprising $72 million. Evidently, the Eagles actually bid on the young receiver, offering up to $13 million per year.

His deal has reset the market for star receivers into stratospheres that were unthinkable just twelve months ago. Thus, the Titans, who are grappling with the possibility of Ryan Tannehill’s decline and a roster retool, have a decision to make when it comes to their star receiver A.J. Brown. Their WR1 is set to hit free agency in 2023 and will need to be offered a long-term deal soon.

If the Titans do indeed wish to draft a quarterback, the Eagles could leverage one of their first-round selections in what appears to be a superior 2023 NFL Draft class. Tennessee may be tempted to not only save the cost of Brown to the cap, but also have a chance to draft a premium talent under center to take over the offense from Tannehill. The threat of getting nothing for Brown if he decides to leave in free agency may buckle their resolve and force them to consider a deal.

Why Acquire Brown By Trade?

The Eagles have attempted to build their receiving corps through the draft in the past three years. Unfortunately for the front office, they have been mostly unsuccessful.

While the 2021 NFL Draft saw the selection of budding star DeVonta Smith in the first round, the previous two were disastrous. The Eagles took JJ Arcega-Whiteside in the second round in 2019 and he has been atrocious. He has not achieved more than 170 yards in any of his three seasons.

Jalen Reagor has not been much better. The 2020 first-round pick has been a major disappointment and has fallen out of favor with Eagles fans. He will likely get a final chance to show productivity in 2022.

Brown relieves the Eagles from scouting an uncertain prospect at receiver. They desperately need to couple Smith with another wideout that can produce. Although Quez Watkins had a sound season with 647 receiving yards, he is better suited to be a speedy slot receiver. Brown’s presence could unlock Smith and Watkins and open up the field for quarterback Jalen Hurts.

Who Says No?

The Titans. The Eagles have acquired draft capital exactly for these opportunities.

Sacrificing a first-round pick to acquire a Pro Bowl receiver is entirely justifiable. This move can improve a limited offense overnight. Furthermore, it prevents another draft mistake and still leaves the Eagles with one of their two 2023 first-round selections.

Conversely, the Titans may view Brown as an indispensable weapon. In his three NFL seasons, the Mississippi product has had 2,995 receiving yards and 24 touchdowns. His extraordinary production has come in just 43 games and will be sorely missed if he was traded.

That being said, for the Eagles, he is a perfect fit. Used to a run dominant attack playing with Derrick Henry, Brown offers elite field-stretching ability in the play-action game. Furthermore, he would provide a big body to throw into the run-pass-option game, equipped to out-muscle smaller corners on short slants and out routes.

What Will It Take?

Trade Proposal:

Eagles Receive: A.J. Brown, 2023 Sixth-Round Pick

Titans Receive: 2023 First-Round Pick (Eagles), 2022 Fourth-Round Pick (124th Overall)

The Eagles must make a compelling trade offer to try and lure the Titans into making a trade. Firstly, Hurts will need to continue his recruiting of A.J. Brown, self-proclaimed as one of his “best friends”. From there, the Eagles can make the Titans an offer that will benefit their offensive retooling, providing them a premium draft asset, a potential depth piece in the fourth round, and allowing them to free up cap space to further pursue and retain talent.

Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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