Denico Autry

Titans Listening To Offers On Contract-Year Players; Ravens Still In On Derrick Henry?

The Titans’ chances of trading Derrick Henry took a major hit today. As ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweets, the deadline passed for the running back to restructure his contract ahead of tomorrow’s trade deadline. As a result, any suitor would have to take on the remaining $5.5MM on Henry’s deal, leading one source to tell Schefter that they don’t “think a trade’s going to happen.”

[RELATED: Latest On Titans, Derrick Henry]

While Tennessee’s inability to reduce Henry’s cap hit will surely impact their ability to trade the star running back, Tony Pauline of Sportskeeda.com writes that teams remain in the hunt, including a pair of previously-reported suitors. Per Pauline, the Ravens are still the “leaders in the clubhouse,” while the Cowboys linger as a “dark horse.”

While both Baltimore and Dallas would be happy to add Henry to their running back corps, compensation remains a main sticking point, according to Pauline. The reporter believes the Titans couldn’t do better than a fourth-round pick, and Pauline opines that Tennessee’s ownership would never approve such a deal. So, if there’s any hope that Henry gets traded before tomorrow’s deadline, it’s going to require one of the Titans or a potential suitor to blink.

While much of the attention in Tennessee has been focused on Henry, there are a handful of additional trade candidates on the Titans roster. Albert Breer of SI.com says defensive linemen Teair Tart and Denico Autry are “the more likely candidates to be moved” before tomorrow’s deadline, with the reporter also noting the smoke surrounding DeAndre Hopkins.

Tart has spent his entire four-year career in Tennessee, going from UDFA to full-time starter. After starting all 16 of his appearances in 2022 , he’s started four of his five games this year, collecting 11 tackles, three tackles for loss, and three QB hits. Autry signed a three-year, $21.5MM deal with the Titans in 2021 and has started 25 of his 36 appearances for the organization, including six starts this season.

DL Denico Autry Drawing Trade Interest; Titans Open To Moving Derrick Henry?

Although Denico Autry is in his age-33 season and operates as a sidekick of sorts on a Titans front seven anchored by Jeffery Simmons and Harold Landry, trade interest has emerged. With Autry in a contract year, teams are monitoring him as a deadline buy.

The 10th-year defensive lineman has become a hot name of sorts ahead of the Oct. 31 deadline, Jason La Canfora of the Washington Post notes. Should the Titans be prepared to unload the experienced pass rusher, ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler adds this would be an interesting market.

During a period in which the Titans missed on a few pass rushers — Bud Dupree, Jadeveon Clowney, Vic Beasley, Cameron Wake — since-ousted GM Jon Robinson did well to land Autry, who has been a central component on Tennessee’s defense despite moving toward his mid-30s. Autry signed a three-year, $21.5MM deal ahead of his age-31 season, with the contract coming during the same week in which the Titans overpaid Dupree. But Autry helped compensate for that miss, totaling 17 sacks and 37 quarterback hits between the 2021 and ’22 seasons. Thus far this year, the versatile D-lineman has four sacks and nine QB hits.

Autry is tied to a $6.75MM base salary, giving other teams a price tag barely north of $3MM to pick up in the event of a post-Week 8 trade. A former Raiders UDFA who has been a late-bloomer, Autry has done his best work in the AFC South. A midcareer Colts stay drove up his market in 2021, and he has not slowed down with the Titans. Earning another midlevel contract in 2024 will likely be on the table for Autry, but the issue now will be if the Titans like an offer enough to move on early.

Tennessee traded Kevin Byard to Philadelphia on Monday, a move that will likely prompt teams to investigate if the 2-4 club will be willing to deal away more parts. Ryan Tannehill‘s expected Week 8 absence will lead to the strange setup of Will Levis and Malik Willis each playing — perhaps alternating series, per Mike Vrabel — against the Falcons. That may be by design to showcase Willis, with Fowler adding the second-year QB is more likely to be dealt than Tannehill. The latter’s injury makes it fairly certain he will stay in Tennessee for the season’s remainder, but with the 35-year-old passer on an expiring contract, the Titans will have big questions to answer at the position soon. Considering Willis’ early-career form, the Titans will not recoup anything close to the No. 86 overall pick they invested last year.

Derrick Henry joins Tannehill and Autry on an expiring deal. The Titans reupped Tannehill and Henry during the 2020 offseason, tagging and then extending Henry in July of that year. The dominant running back came up loosely in trade rumors before the draft, but a report last week indicated the team was more likely to stick with the potential Hall of Famer. But Fowler views Henry as a player the Titans would likely consider trading, adding that some league personnel believed the team was open to doing so this offseason.

The two-time rushing champion received a raise for the 2022 season, but he remains attached to the four-year, $50MM extension he signed three summers ago. Henry, 29, is playing on a $10.5MM salary. With more than $5.5MM due between Weeks 9 and 18, the Titans would stand to run into an issue in an effort to unload one of their all-time greats. Execs around the league believe this will be an impediment to the point Tennessee would likely need to pick up some salary to move on, Fowler adds, and it is far from certain the team would be willing to do that in order to cut ties with a three-time Pro Bowler.

The Titans have third-round pick Tyjae Spears in place once Henry departs, and while teams do not make a habit of re-signing workhorse backs ahead of age-30 seasons, it is not a lock the parties do not discuss a third contract before free agency. For now, however, Henry is playing out a contract year and looms as a fringe trade candidate for a team in transition.

Titans To Start Joshua Dobbs Vs. Cowboys

The Titans are not exactly going into Thursday night’s Cowboys game with a clear intent to win. The injury-plagued team is planning to rest numerous starters, with a Week 18 date against the Jaguars set to determine its playoff fate.

But Tennessee will make an interesting change at quarterback. Rather than give Malik Willis more reps in his rookie season, the Titans are preparing to start recent acquisition Joshua Dobbs, Justin Melo of The Draft Network tweets. Tennessee brought in Dobbs on Dec. 21, with Ryan Tannehill out with an ankle injury. Tannehill is not expected to return this season, though the starter has not shut it down just yet.

A former Tennessee Volunteer, Dobbs has bounced around in the pros. The sixth-year backup has been with three teams just this year, moving from Cleveland to Detroit to Nashville over the past month. The former fourth-round pick has not thrown any regular-season passes this season; his most recent game work came in 2020 with the Steelers. The Browns signed Dobbs this offseason and used him as Jacoby Brissett‘s backup for much of the year, but once Deshaun Watson was eligible to play, Cleveland cut bait. Dobbs landed in Detroit, but Tennessee poached him from the Lions’ practice squad.

Dobbs has seen most of his NFL work come in the preseason, and the Titans’ Week 17 lineup will have the look of an August matchup. Tennessee placed O-line starters Nate Davis and Ben Jones on IR last week, and the team will be without right tackle starter Nicholas Petit-Frere against Dallas. With Taylor Lewan out of the picture, the Titans will deploy basically a second-string O-line tonight. While Willis’ early work points to extensive development being needed, the Titans may be leery of putting the third-round pick behind this set of blockers against a top-tier Cowboys pass rush.

In an arrangement that will surely test Al Michaels’ patience, Titans will also sit Jeffery Simmons, Denico Autry, Amani Hooker, Bud Dupree and Zach Cunningham. Oh, and they are unlikely to deploy Derrick Henry, who is doubtful with a hip injury. This sets up an unusual Week 17 and an odd Week 18 plan. The Titans look like they will be trying to salvage their season in Jacksonville next week on the heels of a six-game losing streak. Even if the Titans drop to 7-9 tonight, the AFC South will be on the line next week.

Willis has shown some promise in the run game but has looked woefully overmatched through the air. The mid-major product has not eclipsed 100 passing yards in any of his three pro starts and has a 0-3 TD-INT ratio on 61 pass attempts. It will be interesting if the Titans turn back to Willis or go with Dobbs (17 career attempts) against the Jaguars, when they reconvene for relevant football, next week.

Titans Rule Out Several Players For Sunday’s Game

The Titans will be without a handful of significant players for tomorrow’s game against the Jaguars. Jim Wyatt of the team’s website tweets that wideout Treylon Burks, cornerback Kristian Fulton, and linebacker David Long are among those who have been ruled out for Sunday.

Burks suffered a concussion last weekend against the Eagles and missed practice throughout the week. The rookie first-round pick missed a chunk of the season while recovering from a turf toe injury. In the four games since his return to the field, Burks has hauled in 15 catches for 230 yards and one touchdown. The Titans will surely add another WR to the roster before tomorrow’s game, as Robert Woods, Nick Westbrook-Ikhine and C.J. Board are currently the only healthy options on the roster.

Long, a former sixth-round, is having a career season, with the linebacker currently pacing the Titans with 86 tackles. Long didn’t practice this week after suffering a hamstring injury against Philly. Fulton, a former second-round pick, has started all 10 of his appearances in 2022. The defensive back suffered a groin injury last Sunday. His absence won’t be made any easier with cornerback Tre Avery also ruled out with a concussion.

The Titans will also be without defensive lineman Denico Autry and wide receiver C.J. Board against Jacksonville.

Latest On Titans’ DL Competition

The Titans’ defensive line played a significant role in the unit’s 2021 success, and the top of the depth chart is relatively settled heading into this season. One starting spot is up for grabs, though, and the team has a number of depth options to consider during training camp. 

Terry McCormick of TitansInsider.com notes that Jeffery Simmons is set to once again anchor the team’s d-line. He enjoyed a breakout campaign in 2021 with 8.5 sacks, earning him a Pro Bowl nod and Second-Team All-Pro honors. The Mississippi State product will be 25 this season, making him a prime candidate for the team to make a long-term commitment to sometime in the near future.

Another first-team role will belong to Denico Autry. The veteran’s first year in Tennessee was one of the most productive of his career. He matched a personal best with nine sacks and set a new mark with 18 QB hits, leading to optimism for the remaining two seasons of the deal he signed with the Titans last offseason. Who will join Simmons and Autry as a starter remains to be seen, though.

McCormick writes that former UDFAs Teair Tart and Naquan Jones are the likeliest candidates for that spot. Tart registered 10 starts in 2021, seeing a defensive snap share of nearly 50% along the way. Jones, meanwhile, offered more pass-rushing potential with 2.5 sacks as a rookie; he is also a player the Titans “are high on” to take a step forward in 2022. The rest of the position group is set to be rounded out by some combination of former Lions Da’Shawn Hand and Kevin Strong, and free agent signee DeMarcus Walker.

One interesting name in this positional competition is Larrell MurchisonA 2020 fifth-rounder, the NC State alum has yet to claim a full-time starting role, and has totalled just 13 tackles so far in the NFL. Considering the talent and depth ahead of him, McCormick points out that Murchison’s roster spot could be “in jeopardy.” How the depth chart shakes out will depend on his training camp performance, and those of several intriguing options the Titans have at the position.

NFL COVID-19 List Updates: 1/1/22

Here are the New Year’s Day activations from and placements on the reserve/COVID-19 lists:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: G Oli Udoh

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: CB Bryce Hall

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Titans To Sign DT Denico Autry

The Titans have secured their first big free agent, both literally and figuratively. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that Tennessee is signing 6-foot-6 defensive tackle Denico Autry. It’s a three-year deal worth $21.5MM, including $9MM guaranteed.

Despite going undrafted out of Mississippi State in 2014, Autry has managed to put together a seven-year career. The defensive tackle spent the first four years of his career with the Raiders, including a 2017 campaign where he finished with five sacks. That performance earned him a three-year, $17.8MM deal with the Colts, and he’s been a consistent presence on their defensive line ever since.

Autry ultimately appeared in 40 games (38 starts) during his three seasons in Indy, compiling 102 tackles, 20 sacks, and three forced fumbles. The 30-year-old also got into three postseason games for the Colts, compiling 2.5 sacks and a forced fumble.

Prior to this move, we hadn’t heard much from the Titans today. The team was armed with around $18MM in cap space heading into the offseason.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/3/20

Here are Thursday’s minor moves:

Indianapolis Colts

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

New England Patriots

  • Claimed off waivers from Buccaneers: LB Jack Cichy

New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/20/20

Here are Friday’s minor moves:

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: OL Lachavious Simmons

Indianapolis Colts

Las Vegas Raiders

New York Jets

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list: RB T.J. Logan; Logan remains on IR

Injury Updates: Patriots, Colts, Lions, Redskins

The final injury reports for Week 7 came out earlier today, and there was a lot of news. Lots of key players will be missing their team’s games, while others will be returning after extended absence. One notable rule-out was the Patriots declaring that starting right tackle Marcus Cannon would miss their game against the Bears. It’s a big loss for New England, especially in a week where they have to go up against Khalil Mack. Mack will now be lining up across from a backup tackle, and could end up making life miserable for Tom Brady.

Here are more injury updates from around the league:

  • The Colts have been the most injured team in recent memory the past few weeks, but are finally getting some good news. Star receiver T.Y. Hilton has missed the past two games with a hamstring injury, but is ready to make his return this week. Unfortunately for Indianapolis, they’ll still be without tight end Jack Doyle and receiver Ryan Grant as well as several key contributors on defense like safety Clayton Geathers and defensive tackle Denico Autry.
  • The Lions will be without running back Theo Riddick, who went down during the team’s win over the Packers. Riddick has been operating as the Lions’ third down back, and rookie Kerryon Johnson should get more run with him out of the way. On the bright side, the team looks like it could be getting back pass-rusher Ezekiel Ansah, who hasn’t played since Detroit’s Week 1 loss. Ansah is listed as questionable but practiced all three days this week.
  • The Redskins will be thin on pass-catchers, as Jamison Crowder has been ruled out for the team’s game against the Cowboys while Paul Richardson is listed as doubtful. Washington promoted Jehu Chesson from the practice squad yesterday, signaling they weren’t expecting Richardson to play. Tight end Jordan Reed should see a ton of looks as the Redskins’ receiving corp is completely depleted.

For a rundown of every team’s injury situation, you can view all 32 injury reports over at ProFootballTalk.com.