The recent wave of star wide receivers being moved has led to Tennessee Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown being floated in NFL trade rumors. If there’s a possibility the Pro Bowl weapon could be moved, he should be atop the Green Bay Packers wishlist.
Green Bay is willing to make its No. 1 option one of the highest paid wide receivers in the NFL. It made Davante Adams a record-setting offer and he turned it down. With general manager Brian Gutekunst on the hunt for a new weapon, Brown stands out as a perfect target.
For now, it remains highly unlikely that Brown is moved. Tennessee’s general manager expressed a desire to keep the 24-year-old with the franchise for years to come. However, roster decisions are always fluid in the NFL and all it takes is contract talks going south before the 2022 NFL Draft for the situation to change.
Keeping that perspective in mind, let’s examine how the Green Bay Packers could pursue A.J. Brown and the potential impact he would make on the offense.
What would an A.J. Brown trade cost?
If the Titans are even going to consider moving the second-best player on their offense, they need significant draft capital in return. Given Brown isn’t even at the peak of achieving his potential, the cost would go beyond a first-round pick.
The 22nd overall pick, acquired from the Las Vegas Raiders, is a starter to get conversations going. It’s a higher pick than the Kansas City Chiefs received as the main asset back for Tyreek Hill. While Brown isn’t on that level right now, he could be one of the NFL’s elite receivers within two seasons.
Factoring in Brown’s upside into the equation and his immediate contributions, Green Bay likely has to include a Day 2 pick. The New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs could take part in a bidding war, so the Packers might have to include a top-60 pick to put their offer on top.
- Green Bay Packers trade: 22nd overall pick, 59th overall pick
- Tennessee Titans trade: A.J. Brown
This is a deal that can still help the Titans in 2022. The 22nd pick will provide the franchise with a shot at guard Zion Johnson or offensive tackle Trevor Penning, fortifying one of the biggest weaknesses on the roster. After addressing the offensive line, Tennessee could either use its 26th pick on a wide receiver (Treylon Burks), a cornerback (Kaiir Elam) or it could double up on the offensive line.
Given Tennessee wants to be a run-first offense this fall and it already acquired Robert Woods, things could work out nicely. Improving in the trenches will protect both Derrick Henry and Ryan Tannehill, all while reducing the team’s long-term cap issues. It might be enough to complete another blockbuster trade.
Now we can dive into why A.J. Brown is an ideal fit for the Packers in 2022 and beyond.
Impact of A.J. Brown on Green Bay Packers offense
There’s a reason Brown should be atop the Packers’ targets to upgrade at wide receiver. He’s younger than Tyler Lockett and simply a more well-rounded player than DK Metcalf. As long as he checks out medically – missed four games in 2021 – the talent is undeniable.
- A.J. Brown career stats: 185 receptions, 2,995 yards, 24 touchdowns in 43 games
Aaron Rodgers could quickly build chemistry with a receiver that is reliable with contested catches. Brown finished 14th in the NFL this past season in contested catch rate (54.2%), per Player Profiler. He also finished sixth in yards per route run (2.96) and second in air yards share (43.7%).
Quite frankly, we haven’t even seen the best from Brown to this point. While Tannehill is a quality passer, he doesn’t compare to one of the most accurate quarterbacks in NFL history. Rodgers is better throwing deep and could put the football in Brown’s hands with throws that Tannehill simply can’t make.
Brown would primarily line up outside in Green Bay, but he does offer some versatility. According to Pro Football Focus, Brown played 167 snaps in the slot last season and he played 14% of his snaps in the slot during the 2020 season.
He offers the size (6-foot-1, 226 lbs.) Green Bay likes in its receivers, too. Another factor to keep in mind, Ole Miss heavily used him in the slot during his collegiate career and he displayed an ability to run a diverse route tree.
Simply put, Brown checks all the boxes Green Bay looks for and he’d quickly become a favorite target for Rodgers. As for a long-term deal, the fit should line up so the Packers have no worries about making him one of the top-paid players at his position.