NASHVILLE- The Tennessee Titans made a shocking move in the 2022 NFL draft. The team traded star receiver and potential perennial Pro Bowler A.J. Brown. Will the Titans eventually regret the trade?
Many questioned the decision at first. Why trade Brown when he was part of the reason the Titans’ offense was so successful? Nothing about this trade seemed logical at all. Was there locker room tension? Did he want to play for another team? What exactly happened to make the Titans trade away Brown to the Philadelphia Eagles?
The answer was simple, keeping Brown on the Titans would’ve led to a cap space disaster. Brown wanted to become the highest-paid receiver in the NFL. He wanted more money than Tyreek Hill and DeVante Adams. The Titans were unwilling and unable to make this happen. General managers have to do more than just assess a player’s market value. They have to ensure that everyone else can be paid the exact money they earned with their performance on the field as well as taking into account the development of the player and their potential for even greater production.
Former Arkansas Razorbacks receiver Treylon Burks was compared to Brown early on. Why spend so much on Brown when the Titans can draft a similar player who will likely produce just as much on the field? As more information came out about the trade, the more the logic became obvious.
This trade was not as bad as Titans fans thought. Although rookies take time to develop, the best rookie receivers tend to make their presence known right away. Burks is an excellent scheme fit and won’t create a cap space situation that the Titans are unable to handle.
This is the best group of rookie receivers we’ve seen in our lifetime. Yes, that comparison includes the draft which we saw studs like Cee Dee Lamb and Justin Jefferson taken in round one. The results in the field will prove that assessment to be accurate. Titans fans should rejoice as the trade was actually a huge win.
Burks will likely have more than 1,000 receiving yards in his first season. In fact, Burks should be a highly sought-after receiver in fantasy football as well because his production will almost certainly be very high right away. Burks’s confidence, play style, and strengths fit the Titans offense perfectly. It won’t take long for Tannehill to develop rapport with Burks right away.
The Tennessee Titans received the 18th overall pick and the 101st overall pick as compensation. Brown signed a four-year $100 million deal with the Philadelphia Eagles. The Titans made the decision that there was no way they’d pay Brown $25 million a year.
Tennessee also traded the 26th overall pick and the 101st overall pick in the 2022 draft to acquire picks 35, 69, and 163.
After two months, it’s much easier to look back and analyze what exactly happened. It’s also easier to think about how the moves actually benefit the Titans. Tennessee made several splash picks in the draft including Burks, quarterback Malik Willis out of Liberty, UCLA star receiver Kyle Phillips, and Michigan star running back Hassan Haskins.
The Titans are ready for the present and future. Tennessee can’t into the draft with a plan to build for the long-term future rather than short-term success.
It’s unlikely the Titans will regret the trade at all. Overall, Tennessee actually received the better end of the deals the team made.
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