The New York Jets almost had A.J. Brown instead of Garrett Wilson
Before the 2022 NFL draft, the Tennessee Titans were actively shopping their star wide receiver, A.J. Brown. While many teams were interested, Brown was ultimately traded to the Philadelphia Eagles for a first-round pick and a third-round pick. But according to Brown himself, he could have gone somewhere else.
When speaking on the Raw Room podcast, Brown revealed that the Kansas City Chiefs and the New York Jets also discussed trading for the Pro Bowl WR.
Interesting hearing AJ Brown on the Raw Room podcast talking about the #Eagles , #Chiefs and #Jets inquiring about him last year before he was traded to the Eagles. pic.twitter.com/snvGD4PTGh
— Nick Jacobs (@Jacobs71) February 22, 2023
“I be getting a couple of teams [that have an interest in trading for me],” Brown said. “The Chiefs tried to get me, a couple other teams like the Jets.”
While a deal between Brown and the Jets struck short, it did make sense for New York to pursue him at the time.
The Jets badly needed help at the wide receiver position and Brown was a budding superstar, posting back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons to start his career to go along with 20 total touchdowns. An injury-plagued third year saw Brown’s numbers decrease, but it still appeared as if his ceiling remained untapped.
There was a direct link between Brown and the Jets as Elijah Moore was Brown’s teammate while at Ole Miss. The duo has remained very close, even as they find themselves playing in different cities in the NFL. Brown even credited Moore with helping him through his depression. The two have remained close friends while in the NFL.
An offense with Brown, Moore, Breece Hall, Tyler Conklin, and Braxton Berrios could have caused major mismatches for opposing defenses. Perhaps it could have even prevented the implosion between Moore and Mike LaFleur midway through the season.
Regardless, it didn’t work out, and while the Jets missed out on Brown, they found another potential star in the making with the first-round pick they would have traded to acquire him.
Striking out on acquiring Brown from the Titans led to the Jets selecting Ohio State wide receiver Garrett Wilson with the 10th overall pick in the 2022 NFL draft. Wilson would go on to finish the year with the best season ever by a Jets rookie wide receiver, setting the franchise record for a rookie with 1,103 receiving yards. He won the Offensive Rookie of the Year award and showed the Jets that he can be “the guy”.
Brown would go on to be named second-team All-Pro and also received one MVP vote while also making it to the Super Bowl with the Eagles. He finished the regular season with 88 receptions for 1,496 yards and 11 touchdowns, adding 13 receptions for 146 yards and one touchdown in the playoffs.
As of now, the trade that never happened has worked out for both sides.