The Titans re-signing DL Jeffery Simmons should keep every AFC South quarterback on his toes for the next several years.
After an early offseason mired with painful cap casualties, the Tennessee Titans have made their first big-boy move: re-signing defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons.
According to ESPN’s Turron Davenport, Simmons and the Titans agreed to a four-year, $94 million extension which includes $66 million guaranteed and a $24 million signing bonus.
Simmons will make $23.5 million per year, putting him second in line in average annual value to only Aaron Donald; and unlike Donald, the 25-year-old Simmons still has the prime of his career ahead of him.
Prior to the extension, Simmons was entering the final year of his rookie deal and set to make roughly $10 million on the fifth-year option.
The two sides had been discussing the terms of a potential extension since the start of the offseason, and the Titans likely wanted to lock up their defensive star earlier, rather than wait and see if it would blow up like a Lamar Jackson fiasco.
Both sides appear satisfied with their ends of the deal, and Simmons posted this on his Twitter account after his extension was announced:
Titans extend DL Jeffery Simmons, make a monster statement to rest of division
Retaining Jeffery Simmons was just the first step in Mike Vrabel’s multi-step recovery plan for the Titans this offseason.
After finishing the 2022 season with a losing record and failing to make the playoffs, Tennessee had and still has a lot of work to do to compete with the rising Jacksonville Jaguars, among other AFC contenders.
Simmons will enter his fifth season this year coming off one of the strongest campaigns of his career with 54 tackles, 7.5 sacks, and a forced fumble. The 2019 first-rounder deserves that Aaron Donald money even if he may be slightly overpaid (considering the market will only inflate, better to extend him now than later) and will help keep Tennessee’s D-line at the top of the league.
The Titans’ defense may help them win games, but their offense will help them achieve postseason success, contrary to the popular saying. The franchise’s efforts must turn now to the quarterback position as the team figures out how to handle the Ryan Tannehill-Malik Wallis duo and whether it’s worth going after a quarterback prospect in the upcoming draft.
Having traded or released many of their top-performing studs in the past (A.J. Brown, Robert Woods, Taylor Lewan, and more), it’s good to see Tennessee pulling up its britches and making a concerted effort to keep Simmons. The player, the franchise, and the fans all benefit from this one.