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The A.J. Brown Trade Cemented the Philadelphia Eagles as Super Bowl Contenders

Entering the 2022 NFL Draft, the Philadelphia Eagles had not one but TWO first-round picks. Their first selection saw Philly move up two spots to draft Georgia defensive tackle Jordan Davis with the 13th-overall pick. Many believed this trade was due to the preceding run on wide receivers coupled with the fact that everyone on Philadelphia's big board had already been selected. That's the moment when Howie Roseman once again worked his magic, trading his second first-round pick to the Tennessee Titans for wide receiver A.J. Brown. When discussing franchise-altering offseason moves, this one right here might make the top of the list. But, who really won the A.J. Brown trade?

That is a very easy question to answer: The Philadelphia Eagles and A.J. Brown.

Eagles Draft Day Leads to Super Bowl Season

Wide receiver A.J. Brown (11) after the game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles

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In three years with the Titans, Brown has caught 185 passes for just under 3,000 yards and 24 touchdowns. But the talks of extending Brown's contract were looming and it appeared that both Brown and the Titans were ready to part ways. The Titans would go on to trade Brown and then drafted his replacement in Treylon Burks out of Arkansas.

This is no shot at Burks, who appeared in 11 games and had 33 receptions for 444 yards and one touchdown in his rookie season. But the notion that he could provide the same production as A.J. Brown, especially with questions at the quarterback position, is asinine. After his first year, Burks appears to have been drafted too early, when the Titans could've potentially gotten him in the second round for nothing.

In fact, while Brown is heading off to Arizona to play against MVP Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and his Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVII, Titans general manager Jon Robinson will be watching from his couch, as he looks for a new job after getting fired before the 2022 season ended, as head coach Mike Vrabel couldn't stop Nashville's struggles.

A.J. Brown Becomes the Biggest Offensive Weapon for the NFC Champs

A.J. Brown #11 of the Philadelphia Eagles and Jalen Hurts #1 of the Philadelphia Eagles talk after the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field

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In his first year with the Eagles, Brown caught 88 passes (13th in the NFL), for 1,496 yards (fourth in the NFL), and 11 touchdowns (tied third in the NFL). Brown and Devonta Smith became the first Eagles receivers to surpass 1,000 receiving yards in a season since Jeremy Maclin in 2014. Brown was also voted into the Pro Bowl and voted Second Team All-Pro, as well. Add in tight end Dallas Goedert to that tandem and it's clear why Nick Sirianni's team finished the regular season as the No. 1-seed int he NFC.

But the biggest takeaway from this trade is how much Brown impacted quarterback Jalen Hurts' progression in 2022. And yes, Hurts made his own strides, but giving him an elite wide receiver, especially one paired with Devonta Smith, goes a long way. Brown is great in short-yardage situations, can beat his defenders deep, and is a threat in the red zone. And Brown is a good run blocker providing support to the run game and to his fellow receivers on screen plays. If Hurts gets a contract extension following the 2022 season, Brown should expect and invitation to dinner.

A.J. Brown is one of the top wide receivers in the NFL and that was on full display in 2022 and beyond in the playoffs. Oh, and don't forget, right after Brown was traded to Philadelphia, he and the Eagles agreed to a four-year, $100 million extension that will keep him in the midnight green until 2026. Sorry New York Giants and Green Bay Packers fans, but Jalen Hurts and A.J. Brown will be one of the top QB/WR duos for years to come.

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