After a series of cuts yesterday, chatter is starting up about what the Tennessee Titans will do next.
Most people are looking at who the next player to leave will be, but we might not hear about that for a while. One of the most frequently brought-up cut candidates is Bud Dupree, but he makes more sense as a post-June 1 cut because the Titans would end up with nearly $16 million in extra cap space instead of $9.35 million.
The big names that keep coming up are Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry, but they are trade candidates, not cut candidates. Since trades can’t officially be made yet (only agreed to), there isn’t a lot of news on that front.
All eyes are shifting toward Jeffery Simmons and his new deal, which makes sense. Other than Laremy Tunsil after the Houston Texans traded multiple 1st round picks for him, it is hard for me to remember a player with more leverage on a team than Simmons has on the Titans.
Ran Carthon is going to have an easy layup here to attach his name to the most beloved Tennessee Titans player on the roster, and you can bet that a deal is coming sooner rather than later. Ideally, the Titans would have this squared away before the start of free agency (in less than three weeks).
So, if an extension is coming, what would it look like and how will it change the Tennessee Titans free agent plans?
Will the Tennessee Titans make Jeffery Simmons a $100 million man?
Way back in 2009, the Tennessee Titans let All-Pro defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth walk because Washington offered him an absurd $100 million contract.
It would be poetic if the Titans kept All-Pro defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons by offering him a $100 million contract, but that probably won’t be a big enough deal for the young star. I think that Simmons will demand a little more than that simply because Tennessee should try to keep him in Nashville for as long as possible.
Signing Simmons to a 5-year extension should be the goal because that would keep him in a Titans uniform until after the 2028 season, and $100 million over 5 years ($20 million AAV) isn’t enough.
Right now there are four defensive tackles in the NFL that are making $20 million AAV or more:
1. Aaron Donald ($31.6 million for three years)
2. DeForest Buckner ($21 million for four years)
3. Leonard Williams ($21 million for three years)
4. Chris Jones ($20 million for four years)
Given his age and the leverage he has, I think Simmons is going to ask to be the highest-paid defensive tackle in the NFL that is not named Aaron Donald.
An extension worth $22 million per year in new money would make that dream come true AND even if you looked at it with the original deal (which still has one year left on it worth $10.8 million) it would still put him in that group of DTs making $20 million AAV or more.
My best guess is a 5-year/$110 million extension with $75 million guaranteed.
That guaranteed money is in line with the other blue-chip defensive tackles and the contract shows Simmons that the Tennessee Titans believe that at some point in his contract, he will be the best defensive tackle in the NFL.
For the Titans, they lock down the star of their defense who never needs to come off of the field and they can keep him on the team until he is (at least) 31 years old. Once the ink is dry on that deal, they can go ahead and start making the first banner that they will hang on the side of the new stadium with Jeffery Simmons front and center.