Commanders

Eagles shake up draft with blockbuster trade for AJ Brown

Commanders
AJ Brown

On a night where the Philadelphia Eagles picked a 6-foot-6, 341-pound Bednarik Award winner (college football's best defensive player) 13th overall, their biggest draft move came a few moments later. 

Philadelphia traded the 18th pick along with a third-round selection in 2022 to the Titans for Pro-Bowl wide receiver AJ Brown. Shortly after completing the blockbuster move, the Eagles inked AJ Brown to a four-year, $100 million contract extension with $57 million guaranteed, per ESPN

Brown was entering the final year of his rookie contract with Tennessee after posting 1,000-yard seasons in two of his first three years in the NFL. The 24-year-old wanted a new contract and got one with his new team, creating a talented receiving core in Philadelphia alongside 2021 first-round pick DeVonta Smith. 

With this move, the Eagles' offense projects to be a much more well-rounded unit in 2022 than it was last season. Behind a stout offensive line and quarterback Jalen Hurts, Philly became the best rushing attack in the NFL but struggled to move the ball through the air. 

Brown becomes the latest star wide receiver to change teams this offseason along with Tyreek Hill and Devante Adams. All three signed big extensions shortly after getting traded as well. 

The on-field impact Brown will have against the rest of the division is clear. That man is no fun to tackle and the Commanders, Giants and Cowboys defenders will have to do it twice a year, each. Off the field, however, Brown's new contract could act as a benchmark for Terry McLaurin

 

McLaurin was selected 25 spots after Brown in the 2019 NFL Draft and decided to sit out offseason workouts without a new contract. Through three years, Brown has accumulated 185 receptions for 2,995 yards and 24 touchdowns. McLaurin has 222 receptions for 3,090 yards and 16 touchdowns. Comparable production could result in comparable compensation for Washington's star wide receiver. 

At the least, Washington added some more juice to their receiving room as well, taking Jahan Dotson 16th overall after trading down from No. 11. The Giants enjoyed a productive first round too by taking pass rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux and offensive lineman Evan Neal with the fifth and seventh overall picks.

The NFC East is rarely subtle and this time it was the Eagles who grabbed the spotlight in the latest chapter of one of the craziest offseasons in NFL history.