NASHVILLE — Wide receiver A.J. Brown loves to mix it up on social media with Tennessee Titans fans since he was traded out of Nashville this Spring. His latest comments showcase a woeful ignorance of Tennessee pro history football.
Brown thinks he’s the best wide receiver to play for the Titans in franchise history.
Was A.J. Brown the best receiver to play for the Titans? 👀
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) June 12, 2022
The reality is that Brown may not even be the best wide out to play for the club since it moved to Tennessee in 1997. It is understandable why the now-Philadelphia Eagle might feel that way. The previous 12 years of Titans leading receivers read like a miserable trip down memory lane of draft misses and talent washouts that would haunt any NFL fan base.
Hell, three of the 12 seasons of Tennessee receiving yards leaders belong to a tight end.
Derrick Mason is the best receiver in Titans history
Full stop on that, by the way.
Drafted in 1997 as a Tennessee Oiler, former Titans wide receiver Derrick Mason’s resumé with the franchise has yet to be matched. Set aside that the Michigan State product played in the pros for 15 years and was still highly productive at age 36, Mason’s durability is also something that was never in question.
That was hardly the case for Brown
“I had four 1000+ yards seasons and missed only six games,” Mason told me via text. “But, people deal in revisionist history. This isn’t a debate.”
Looking at the “Titans era” from 1998-present, Mason (7 years) lasted with Tennessee more than twice as long as Brown (3 years) before changing teams. He made First Team All-Pro in the 2000 season when the Titans went 13-3 in the regular season and made his first Pro Bowl. Mason would again make his only other Pro Bowl in 2003.
Brown could argue for “Most Talented”
It is incredibly early in his young career to know what Brown will go on to be.
While in Tennessee, Brown was the leading receiver for each of his three seasons. The team reached consistent regular season and playoff success with him on the roster that it had not previously sniffed for nearly a decade. Even in Nashville, there are still plenty of questions about what the Titans might have been if Brown played more than only one full season.
Brown appeared in 16 games in only his rookie season. In the two years that followed, the “best receiver to play” for Tennessee’s franchise missed as many games (6) as Mason had across his entire Titans tenure.
To reiterate Mason’s words, this is not even remotely a debate.
Featured Image: USA TODAY Sports.