Extension-eligible gamers who’re commerce targets: Who’s the A.J. Brown of 2023?
AFC South Reporter
On April 28, 2022, the primary day of final 12 months’s draft, the Titans shocked the NFL world by buying and selling A.J. Brown, sending him to the Eagles for first- and third-round picks.
Philadelphia, which instantly signed the star large receiver to a four-year, $100 million extension that included $57 million assured, bought all the things it had hoped for when executing the deal: a No. 1 receiver to pair with rising star wideout DeVonta Smith, taking quarterback Jalen Hurts and the crew’s offense to new heights.
Brown in 2022 posted or tied career-highs throughout the board — in targets (145), receptions (88), receiving touchdowns (11), first downs receiving (59) and receiving yards (1,496), which broke the Eagles’ single-season report — in serving to to guide the crew to Super Bowl LVII.
Even within the Super Bowl loss, Brown shined, catching six passes for 96 yards and a landing. His 45-yard rating, which gave the Eagles a 14-7 lead early within the second quarter, was Philadelphia’s solely receiving TD within the sport.
In 2023, who may very well be the brand new Brown? Who are the rising, younger, extension-eligible gamers this offseason who’re potential commerce targets that would elevate their buying crew to new heights?
Here are 4 names to observe:
Lamar Jackson, QB, Baltimore Ravens (age: 26)
2022 stats (12 video games): 62.3% completion price for two,242 passing yards and 17 TDs with 7 INTs; 112 carries for 764 yards and three TDs
The 2019 NFL MVP would give an buying crew a participant, when wholesome, who is well a top-eight quarterback within the league.
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Jackson’s future in Baltimore is unsure at greatest after two years of contract talks. He and the Ravens could not come to phrases on an extension final offseason, and he performed out 2022 on the fifth-year possibility. If the edges cannot come to phrases on an extension within the subsequent couple of weeks, the Ravens might franchise tag Jackson previous to 4 p.m. ET on March 7, stopping the star quarterback from being an unrestricted free agent. If that occurs, Jackson and Baltimore would have till July 15 to work out a deal earlier than he’d must play underneath the tag for 2023.
Including the Ravens’ wild-card loss to the Bengals, Jackson missed six video games this previous season with a sprained PCL in his left knee.
Tee Higgins, WR, Cincinnati Bengals (age: 24)
2022 stats (16 video games): 74 receptions for 1,029 yards and seven TDs
With looming extensions for celebrity quarterback Joe Burrow this offseason and large receiver Ja’Marr Chase subsequent offseason, it may very well be troublesome for the Bengals to maintain Higgins for the long run. If Cincinnati had been to deal Higgins, it might internet related compensation as Tennessee obtained for Brown: a mid first-round decide and a late third-rounder.
Higgins is likely to be the Bengals’ No. 2 receiver, however he can be the No. 1 possibility on most groups within the NFL. After posting greater than 900 receiving yards as a rookie, Higgins has had back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. He has 19 touchdowns since being chosen thirty third total within the 2020 draft.
Jerry Jeudy, WR, Denver Broncos (age: 23)
2022 stats (15 video games): 67 receptions for 972 yards and 6 TDs
Jeudy, a 2020 first-round pick of Alabama, may very well be a powerful No. 2 possibility for a playoff contender that wants extra receiver depth.
He led the Broncos final season in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns, however he is a powerful commerce candidate. Denver has simply 5 picks within the upcoming draft because of offers that landed quarterback Russell Wilson and new head coach Sean Payton, which price the crew three 2023 choices mixed, all premium (two first-round picks, one second-rounder). The Broncos do not presently have a decide greater than the third spherical. Trading Jeudy would deliver much-needed draft capital again to Denver.
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The Broncos have till May 1 to train the fifth-year possibility in Jeudy’s rookie contract, which might preserve him underneath contract by 2024. If they do not decide up the choice, he’ll be an unrestricted free agent after subsequent season.
Jordan Love, QB, Green Bay Packers (age: 24)
2022 stats (4 video games, 0 begins): 66.7% completion price for 195 yards and a TD
If the Packers recommit to Aaron Rodgers for 2023, that would spell the top of Love with the franchise. He has performed simply 10 video games, together with one begin, with Green Bay since being chosen twenty sixth total within the 2020 NFL Draft. The Packers have till May 1 to train his fifth-year possibility.
We have not seen sufficient of Love to find out what sort of NFL quarterback he’s. With a brand new crew, and the chance to be QB1 after three seasons studying behind Rodgers, what if the previous Utah State star blossoms in 2023? That can be the best-case state of affairs for a possible buying crew.
Love might price rather a lot, although. Even if Rodgers stays with the Packers, Green Bay can be compelled to maintain Love within the wings, as he is a former first-round quarterback on a rookie deal.
Ben Arthur is the AFC South reporter for FOX Sports. He beforehand labored for The Tennessean/USA TODAY Network, the place he was the Titans beat author for a 12 months and a half. He coated the Seattle Seahawks for SeattlePI.com for 3 seasons (2018-20) previous to shifting to Tennessee. You can observe Ben on Twitter at @benyarthur.
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