Roseman explains why he worked to keep Brown trade quiet


The Eagles surprised the NFL world last Thursday night when they traded for veteran receiver A.J. Brown.

And there’s a reason Howie Roseman kept the workings of the trade so quiet.

Roseman was on the 94WIP morning show with Angelo Cataldi on Tuesday and explained.

“Not a lot of people were involved and I’ll tell you why,” Roseman said on WIP. “Because just imagine this comes out, you guys find out, we had A.J. Brown but couldn’t get a deal done. You guys wouldn’t be happy.”

Yeah, that wouldn’t have been good. The last time Roseman tried to trade for a veteran receiver — at least that we know of — was when they were talking to the Falcons about Calvin Ridley, but then Ridley was suspended by the league. So you can’t fault them for this one.

Roseman kept the loop very small on this trade. And he said on WIP that most of the people in the Eagles’ draft room didn’t know the trade was happening until they were getting close to being on the clock at 18.

“Our whole group comes in the draft room expecting us to pick someone and probably having some preference on who we’re picking there,” Roseman said. “I said, ‘Hey, we traded out’ and I could see the look on their faces. They’re like ‘oh, man, we traded out. We could have gotten a good guy right here that we wanted.’

“And, ‘Yeah, we got A.J. Brown!’ This guy’s a great player. He’s a great player and he’s a great fit for this city. And when you look at our roster, a really good skillset to balance what we have.”

Roseman said he wasn’t very confident he’d be able to land Brown at the beginning of last week but that confidence slowly began to rise as the week went on. But even as he woke up on Thursday, he wasn’t sure. It took a final call to Titans GM Jon Robinson to work out the trade compensation. From there, the Eagles had to figure out the terms of a long-term extension with Brown’s agent. Normally, Roseman said, big deals like that take a longer time to execute. The Eagles had 8-10 hours to pull this one off.

And even as the Eagles’ traded up in the first round to draft Jordan Davis at No. 13, they still didn’t have the trade for Brown in place. It didn’t get finished until pick 14 or 15. So as soon as the Eagles drafted Davis, Roseman left the draft room to try to finalize the other trade he was working on.

One of the few people in the organization who knew the Brown trade was a possibility was quarterback Jalen Hurts, who is best friends with Brown.

Why did Roseman tell Hurts?

“He’s not sitting there and telling us who to draft, who to sign,” Roseman said. “He just wants to work and play. That guy’s got tremendous character and work ethic. All those things are unbelievable. He and I have talked about A.J. because he was a guy we really liked in the 2019 draft and we didn’t get him.

“The only thing was, I had given him a heads up before the draft, one of a few people, in case I needed him to recruit A.J. in case it got close and we needed to get a deal done. And that was really it.”

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