NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A.J. Brown told ESPN he would have taken $22 million a year to stay with the Titans. 

But he actually asked for over $25 million a year and $80 million guaranteed and wouldn’t have stepped on the field once he was back with the team unless the massive deal was in place.AJBrownIND

Holding out of OTAs and tweeting his complaints was only the start of the issues the Titans were expecting to have with Brown, issues that were at the heart of their decision to deal him to Philadelphia in exchange for the 18th and 101st picks in the draft.

They used No. 18 on Arkansas receiver Treylon Burks, and dealt 101 to the Jets in a swap out of No. 26 that landed them second-, third- and fifth-round selections. 

Brown's people indicated to the Titans that he wanted a trade.

The expectation was that while he would report when fines became a factor – he would have been on the hook for about $93,000 for missing their three-day mandatory minicamp and $40,000 a day for camp and beyond – that he would have found ways not to practice.

Jimmy Sexton and Tory Dandy represent Brown, who got a four-year deal with $57 million guaranteed from the Eagles. The total value has been reported as $100 million, but that often looks different once the details of a contract become known.

Brown had stopped talking to the Titans and was not going to be in contact.

So a slight mess now would have escalated into a bigger mess.

It’s disappointing the sides couldn’t find a way to negotiate. If the Titans were at $16 million-plus incentives as Brown said and Brown was at over $25 million and Brown claims he would have taken $22, well that’s only a bit north of halfway.

I can understand the Titans getting to a point where they decided they did not want to deal with the increasing drama and needed to get on with forming this year’s version of the team.

Kuharsky megaphoneFractured relationships are a part of league business and the Titans have done well not to really have any during the Jon Robinson-Mike Vrabel regime.

They’ve got a lot of work to do for the offense not to drop off as a result of their first one as Brown’s big-play ability is not something they are unlikely to replace the way they’ve replaced so much other stuff during Vrabel’s tenure. 

Brown’s been increasingly sensitive during his time with the Titans, an alpha on the field whose personality off it increasingly didn’t match.

Production trumps all, up to a point. The Titans found and anticipated that point.

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