According to multiple reports, Tennessee Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown will skip the team’s voluntary workout program in Nashville, which begins later today (on Monday, April 18th).
Second-round picks that include WRs Deebo Samuel, A.J. Brown and Terry McLaurin are not expected to participate in their teams’ on-field off-season programs because they want new contracts at a time this off-season when WR deals have exploded, per league sources.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 18, 2022
Brown is entering the fourth and final year of his rookie contract after general manager Jon Robinson selected him with the 51st overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft. Brown is set to earn just $3.986 million in 2022, according to Spotrac. As one of the premier receivers in the National Football League, it makes Brown severely underpaid, and he’s certainly seeking for a lucrative long-term extension that would secure his future. The Titans don’t have a fifth-year option on Brown, seeing that he wasn’t a first-round selection.
The mainstream media will likely have a field day with this news, but it truthfully means little as things stand. Skipping voluntary workouts is hardly a big deal and should have no on-field impact for Brown, who’s been in the same system and offense for three consecutive seasons, with essentially the same starting quarterback the entire time. There’s little to be gained from a on-field results perspective here, and it won’t hurt Tennessee’s offense going forward.
Brown is making it known that he wants a new contract after the receiver market was completely flipped on its head earlier this offseason. Davante Adams signed a five-year, $141.25 million deal with the Las Vegas Raiders, and Christian Kirk signed a four-year, $72 million contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars. These are just two examples of the types of deals we’ve witnessed at the receiver position in recent months. It’s no wonder Brown feels he’s in line for an update. Brown won’t get Adams money, but it’s safe to assume he’s looking for something in the range of $20-23 million annually on a four-or-five year extension.
General manager Robinson has typically dealt with these situations just before training camp opens in mid to late July. We saw similar situations play out in this manner for Taylor Lewan, Derrick Henry and Kevin Byard in the past. All three players received their desired extensions in July, and we’re expecting the same for Brown here.
In three seasons as a Titan, Brown has recorded 185 receptions for 2,995 receiving yards and 24 touchdowns. He began his career by posting back-to-back 1,000-plus-yard seasons in 2019 and 2020. Brown posted career-lows in yards (869) and touchdowns (five) this past season after dealing with multiple injuries that held him to a career-low 13 regular-season appearances. Brown was still extremely effective when healthy and on the field, and there’s little to no reason to worry about injuries going forward. Brown may already be the best receiver in Titans history, which isn’t saying much (sorry, Drew Bennett and Derrick Mason).
Stay tuned to MCM.