Titans Sign OLB Tarell Basham

Tarell Basham is coming back to the AFC South. The former Colts draft choice signed with the Titans on Monday, ending a brief stay in free agency. This is an active-roster agreement, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets.

After dangling Basham in trades for a bit, the team did not find a taker. Dallas used one of its injury activations to bring Basham off IR, where he resided for much of its season’s first half, but waived him last week. With a high-six-figure total still left on Basham’s deal, he cleared waivers. But the Titans brought him in for a workout late last week and will sign him.

Tennessee has dealt with a steady stream of edge rusher injuries. Harold Landry suffered a season-nullifying ACL tear late this summer, and Bud Dupree has missed three games. Rotational cog Ola Adeniyi has missed most of this season, though the Titans did activate the young pass rusher off IR ahead of Week 13.

Basham stands to provide some more depth for the AFC South leaders. Alongside lead rushers Denico Autry and Jeffery Simmons, Tennessee has seen second-year outside linebacker Rashad Weaver (5.5 sacks) take a step forward this season. DeMarcus Walker, on his third team in three years, has also contributed to the team’s pass rush (4.5). The Titans are tied for 10th in the league with 33 sacks.

The Colts waived Basham early during the 2018 season, and he spent two-plus seasons with the Jets and much of the 2020s with the Cowboys. Basham, 28, totaled seven sacks between the 2020 and ’21 seasons. The ex-Ohio Bobcat’s three forced fumbles during his Jets contract year upped his value in 2021, when he signed a two-year, $5.5MM deal with the Cowboys.

While Basham’s 3.5 sacks helped Dallas’ cause during a 2021 playoff campaign, the team’s changes up front this offseason left less room for him upon return from IR. Basham suffered a quadriceps injury in Week 1 and only played eight defensive snaps upon return. Mike McCarthy said Basham’s exit came about because of a roster crunch, with the Cowboys needing to clear space for Tyron Smith and James Washington eventually.

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