Stop me if you have heard this one before, but the Tennessee Titans love A.J. Brown and they want him around for a long time.
We also know that A.J. Brown wants to be with the Tennessee Titans and that he has great relationships with Ryan Tannehill, Taylor Lewan, Jeffery Simmons, Ben Jones, and plenty of other players in that locker room (not to mention Jon Robinson and Mike Vrabel).
So it shouldn’t surprise anyone to find out that the Titans are already working with his team on a new deal.
How do we know this? Well, ESPN’s best reporter Dianna Russini said as much on Buck Reising’s show Tuesday morning.
What does that mean for the Tennessee Titans’ salary cap?
Everyone with half a brain knows that A.J. Brown makes this team better and he would make 31 other teams better because that is what special players do. No sane person is suggesting that the Titans should let him walk and sign another player. (In fact, there is a player in this draft class with similarities to A.J. Brown that the team might want to trade up to get.)
With everyone in agreement that Brown is a must-sign player for the Titans, the question is how much will it cost?
Our own Max Greenberg predicted last week that a new deal should be a 4-year, $100 million deal that starts after this season. Most people agree that a $22-$26 million range makes sense given his value, age, importance to the team, and the wide receiver market.
For this year it wouldn’t change anything because it would be surprising if the Titans did a new deal instead of an extension. The only way this would change is if they were trying to manipulate the cap down the line by paying him some of the money they are getting back from the Julio Jones cut to try to mitigate future cap hits.
While the Titans are only scheduled to have $10 million in cap space next season, keep in mind that $85 million of that is non-guaranteed money owed to Ryan Tannehill, Derrick Henry, Zach Cunningham, Taylor Lewan, Robert Woods, Denico Autry, and Bud Dupree.
That isn’t to say that all of those players will be cut or anything, just that there is a lot of flexibility in those deals if they want to move money around, make a trade, or move on from one of those guys.
A deal is going to get done with A.J. Brown at some point and it seems like the Tennessee Titans are going to get out in front of the market and pay him before they have to compare their contracts with teams like the San Francisco 49ers or the Washington Commanders. So don’t spiral out of control, just relax and ignore the nonsense out there right now.