A.J. Brown and the top wide receivers to change teams this offseason


Some of the NFL's top wide receivers certainly have taken some deep routes this offseason.

From Green Bay to Las Vegas, Tennessee to Philadelphia, Kansas City to Miami, and so on.

The transaction trend of elite wideouts changing teams continued during the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft on Thursday as the Titans traded A.J. Brown to the Eagles and the Ravens dealt Marquise Brown to the Cardinals.

Here's a look at five wide receivers who have become the top target for new teams.

Tyreek Hill

"The Cheetah" is now on the prowl in South Beach.

The Kansas City Chiefs traded Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins in March, exchanging a six-time Pro Bowler for five draft picks, including a 2022 first-rounder. 

Hill set a career high with 111 catches during the 2021 season, finishing with 1,239 yards and nine touchdowns. In six seasons with the Chiefs, all of which Hill was selected for the Pro Bowl, he totaled 479 receptions for 6,630 yards and 56 touchdowns. 

The Dolphins inked the 28-year-old Hill to a four-year, $120 million extension, which included $72.2 million guaranteed. It also made him the highest paid wide receiver just days after that title was taken by... 

Davante Adams

Entering the offseason, it seemed more likely that Aaron Rodgers would be the one leaving Green Bay, not Davante Adams.

Turned out to be the opposite. Shortly after Rodgers signed an extension, the Packers were unable to reach a deal with Adams after franchise-tagging him and dealt the wideout to the Las Vegas Raiders for their 2022 first- and second-round picks. The Raiders made the 29-year-old Adams the league's highest-paid wideout (but only for a week) after signing him to a five-year deal with an average annual salary of $28 million per. 

Adams, a five-time Pro Bowler who was first-team All-Pro the last two seasons, is coming off a season where he became the sixth player in NFL history with 120-plus catches (123), 1,500-plus yards (1,553) and 11-plus touchdown catches (11) in the same season.

Rodgers said Thursday night on "The Pat McAfee Show" that the move was "a little surprising."

"Obviously, when I made my decision I was still thinking he was going to come back,” Rodgers said. 

Draft day plans may not have gone according to plan for the Packers, who watched as six wide receivers were selected in the top 18 picks, as Green Bay used the No. 22 pick received from the Raiders on Georgia linebacker Quay Walker instead of Adams' successor. 

As for Adams, he reunites with Derek Carr, his former quarterback at Fresno State.

Amari Cooper

The revamping of the Cleveland Browns' passing game began with the acquisition of Amari Cooper. 

The Browns sent their 2022 fifth- and sixth-round picks to the Dallas Cowboys for the 27-year-old Cooper, who had 865 receiving yards and eight touchdowns on 68 catches last season. The four-time Pro Bowler has eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards in five of his first seven seasons.

The Browns had the sixth-worst passing game in the league last season, averaging just 195.3 passing yards per game last season. Their leading receiver was Donovan Peoples-Jones, who had just 597 yards. 

That should change this season with Cooper...and Deshaun Watson. 

A.J. Brown

It was the first of two draft day wideout blockbusters on Thursday. 

The Titans traded A.J. Brown to the Philadelphia Eagles for the 18th pick and a third-rounder in the 2022 draft. Brown, who was entering the final year of his rookie deal, then signed a four-year, $100 million deal with the Eagles, becoming the league's fourth-highest paid wideout per year behind Tyreek Hill, Davantae Adams and DeAndre Hopkins.

Brown, following a pair of 1,000-plus yard seasons to start his career, had 63 catches for 869 yards and five touchdowns in 13 games last season. The 24-year-old will now play alongside DeVonta Smith, creating a formidable tandem for third-year quarterback Jalen Hurts.

After dealing Brown, the Titans drafted Arkansas wideout Treylon Burks with the 18th pick, making him the sixth receiver selected in the 2022 draft.  

Marquise Brown 

After the Arizona Cardinals traded for Marquise "Hollywood" Brown, general manager Steve Keim said Kyler Murray texted him fire emojis. 

The emoji choice was far different for Brown's now former quarterback, Lamar Jackson...

The Ravens shipped Brown to the Cardinals for the No. 23 pick and a third-rounder, reuniting the wideout with Murray, his former teammate at Oklahoma.

Brown fills a void in Arizona left by Christian Kirk, who signed a massive deal worth up to $84 million with the Jacksonville Jaguars on the first day of free agency. The 24-year-old Brown set career highs last season with 91 receptions and 1,008 yards, becoming the team's second-leading receiver behind tight end Mark Andrews. Over three seasons, Brown had 2,361 receiving yards and 21 touchdowns on 195 catches. 

The Ravens, who then dealt the No. 23 pick received from the Cardinals to the Buffalo Bills for the No. 25 pick and the No. 130 pick, selected Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum at No. 25. So, Jackson now has a young center but is without a top wideout.

Brown now joins an Arizona receiving corps that includes DeAndre Hopkins, A.J. Green and 2021 second-round pick Rondale Moore. Insert fire emoji here.

Other notable wide receiver moves: Christian Kirk to the Jacksonville Jaguars, Allen Robinson to the Los Angeles Rams, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and JuJu Smith-Schuster to the Kansas City Chiefs


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