Ryan Tannehill told reporters on Tuesday that he was shocked by the trade of wide receiver A.J. Brown to the Philadelphia Eagles. “It hurt. Professionally it hurt,” Tannehill said. “Heck of a football player. Personally it hurt. A.J.’s a good friend.”
Brown told ESPN that the Titans offered him a well-below-market contract extension worth $16 million per year and that the trade “wasn’t my fault,” while the Titans disputed those characterizations and stated that Brown asked for $80 million guaranteed in a new deal. Whatever actually happened, the two sides could not come to an agreement and the Titans shipped him to Philly for a deal that included the No. 18 overall pick, which Tennessee then used on his ostensible replacement, former Arkansas wide receiver Treylon Burks.
A couple rounds later, the Titans also selected Tannehill’s potential replacement when they traded up from No. 90 to No. 86 overall and selected Liberty quarterback Malik Willis. Considered one of the top quarterback prospects in the class and a potential first-round pick, Willis instead fell deep into Day 2, to the point where the Titans apparently felt comfortable drafting him.
Tannehill said he was not told that the Titans would be drafting a quarterback, according to ESPN, and that it’s not his job to be a mentor to his presumptive new backup and potential successor. Tannehill did state that he texted both Willis and Burks after they were drafted.