Jeffery Simmons

Titans Place DL Jeffery Simmons, LB Jack Gibbens On IR

The Titans were on busy on Saturday with respect to roster decisions. Among the many moves made on Saturday was defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons and linebackers Jack Gibbens and Luke Gifford being placed on injured reserve.

Players moved to IR are required to miss at least four weeks. Since the Titans have been eliminated from postseason contention, the news confirms that trio will not see the field again in 2023. The loss of Simmons and Gibbens in particular will deal a signficant blow to Tennessee’s defense to close out the season. The Titans’ special teams unit will also be notably weaker without Gifford in the fold.

Simmons has already missed the past two games due to a knee injury. Head coach Mike Vrabel made it clear a multi-week absence would be on tap, so with the Titans out of contention it comes as little surprise that they will shut him down for the rest of the year. 2024 will mark his next action; it also represents the beginning of his four-year, $94MM extension signed this offseason.

The 26-year-old was one of many young defensive tackles who earned a substantial raise, and he maintained his status as an impact defender this season. Simmons racked up 44 tackles (including 10 for loss) along with 5.5 sacks in 2023. Especially with Teair Tart out of the picture, Tennessee’s D-line will look much different to close out the year.

Gibbens did enough last season to earn a signficant role in 2023. The former UDFA logged a 66% snap share on defense this season, starting 13 of his 14 appearances. Gibbens totaled 92 tackles (which ranked second on the team), proving his value as a key member of the Titans’ front seven. He is a pending exclusive rights free agent, and it will be interesting to see how the team handles his financial future given the impact he made this year.

Gifford joined Tennessee this offseason on a two-year, $4MM deal. As was the case during his Cowboys tenure, he was used almost exclusively on special teams in his debut Titans campaign. Gifford saw a career-high 83% snap share in the third phase, compared to just eight total defensive snaps. He could have seen a more diverse workload in Gibbens’ absence, but instead he will join safety Amani Hooker in being shelved for the final weeks of the season.

To fill the open roster spots, the Titans announced the signings of linebacker JoJo Domannalong with offensive linemen John Ojukwu and Andrew Rupcich. All three were on the team’s practice squad, and they will now have the opportunity to see game action as Tennessee’s injury list continues to grow.

Titans DL Jeffery Simmons To Miss “A Couple Weeks”

The Titans will be without a key defender for a handful of games. Coach Mike Vrabel told reporters that Jeffery Simmons will definitely miss Monday’s game against the Dolphins and will likely be sidelined for “a couple weeks.”

[RELATED: Titans P Ryan Stonehouse Out For Season]

Simmons exited Sunday’s loss to the Colts with a knee injury but ended up returning to the contest. The team’s training staff ultimately forced him to leave the game for good, and they later determined that the veteran will have to miss multiple games while dealing with the issue.

“I think he really did everything that he could and even made a play,” Vrabel said (via the team’s website). “He just wasn’t going to be able to do anything. And if you can’t protect yourself out there, nobody wants to put a player in harm’s risk. We’re going to trust Jeff to say when he can go and when he can’t.”

The former first-round pick has turned into Tennessee’s top defender, earning two-straight All-Pro nods after finishing with 16 sacks between 2021 and 2022. This year, Simmons has collected 44 tackles and 5.5 sacks while ranking 33rd among 126 qualifying interior defenders, per Pro Football Focus. The site also gave him a top-25 positional grade for his pass-rushing ability.

With Simmons limited to a season-low 37 defensive snaps this past weekend, Teair Tart and Kyle Peko soaked up the majority of the leftover snaps. Jaleel Johnson also earned one of his highest snap totals of the season after having previously seen an inconsistent role on defense.

AFC Injury Roundup: Steelers, Stevenson, Titans

This has been a typical rally year for the Steelers. Anytime things look less than ideal in a season for Pittsburgh, the team tends to pick things up and lead head coach Mike Tomlin to yet another winning season. They have done so this year as a bend-but-don’t-break defense has buoyed a struggling offense to a 7-5 record. That task will likely be getting a bit more difficult with the injury news concerning starting quarterback Kenny Pickett.

According to Brooke Pryor of ESPN, Pickett sustained a right ankle injury while trying to push for the endzone today and was forced to sit out the remainder of the game. Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that the injury is “not good” and that Pickett “will be out for an extended period.”

Pickett was replaced in today’s loss by backup quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. Trubisky was able to score a touchdown in relief of Pickett but was unable to lead the team to victory after inheriting a tie game on the one-yard line. Tomlin made it clear that if Pickett is unable to go, which if Dulac is correct sounds like it will be the case, Trubisky will serve as the team’s starter.

With the Steelers facing a short week before hosting the Patriots, Pickett likely won’t have time to make a quick comeback, especially if the injury is “not good.” Expect Trubisky to lead the Pittsburgh offense this Thursday night.

Here are a few other injury updates from around the AFC, starting with another note from the Steel City:

  • Steelers starting safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, who returned to the field today for the first time since October, was forced to leave the game for a period with a broken left hand, per Pryor. The break reportedly kept him from being able to grab the football, but he was able to cast and wrap the hand during the game’s two weather delays and finish the game with the injury. If the team feels it’s safe, Fitzpatrick may not need to miss any additional time as he can simply play with the cast, as he did today.
  • Speaking of the Thursday night turnaround, the Patriots are in danger of having to face the Steelers without starting running back Rhamondre Stevenson. Stevenson reportedly sprained his ankle today, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, and will undergo an MRI in order to determine how long he may be sidelined. Even if it’s a fairly minor sprain, the short week looms large for his availability. Backup rusher Ezekiel Elliott could find himself in a bigger role or even starting in Pittsburgh this coming week.
  • The Titans saw two players suffer scary knee injuries in today’s loss to the Colts. The two players who went down were star defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons and backup tight end Josh Whyle. While the injuries were enough to sideline each player for a bit, beat writer Paul Kuharsky confirms that neither injury is season-ending.

AFC South Notes: Colts, QBs, Texans, Titans

While the Texans may be torn on a quarterback pick, the Colts are a near-lock to select a passer with their first choice. It is now possible every passer but Bryce Young will be available for Indianapolis at No. 4, which would put the retooling team to a decision. The Colts-Will Levis connection may be this draft’s second-strongest tie — after the Panthers-Young match — but Albert Breer of notes assistant GM Ed Dodds is high on C.J. Stroud. Dodds has been with Indy since 2017, becoming Chris Ballard‘s top lieutenant soon after the GM’s arrival.

Ballard, whom Breer adds was high on Levis beginning back in the fall, also is believed to place value on the increasingly popular S2 cognition test; Stroud’s low score has been leaked. Another team moving into the Texans or Cardinals’ spots could end up making the decision for the Colts, but if no trades emerge, Indy might have a fascinating Stroud-or-Levis decision on its hands. The two seem to be trending in opposite directions, but the Ohio State prospect has received higher grades — by scouting outlets and anonymous evaluators — as a prospect.

Here is the latest from the AFC South:

  • With the Texans set for a complex call at No. 2 overall, not much has emerged regarding their No. 12 choice. But Houston, in the wake of the latest Brandin Cooks trade, may be targeting receiving help. Of the receivers, the Texans prefer Jaxon Smith-Njigba, per the Washington Post’s Jason La Canfora. Despite missing almost all of his junior season, Smith-Njigba has regained momentum and has the best chance to be the top wideout of the board. With the Packers (No. 13) and Jets (No. 15) connected to the one-year Buckeyes wonder, the Texans could outflank their potential competition. John Metchie is back at work for the Texans, after missing 2022 following a leukemia diagnosis, but the team dealt Cooks to the Cowboys and did not do too much — the Robert Woods pickup notwithstanding — to replace him. The Texans are also considering moving down from No. 12, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, who adds teams are not too interested in moving to 2.
  • One of the teams lurking as a trade-up candidate to outflank the Colts, the Titans are now being linked to trading back and accumulating picks. Both La Canfora and’s Jeremy Fowler indicate buzz has emerged tying Tennessee to a trade-down effort from No. 11. Yes, with a few exceptions, most teams are willing to move up or down in each draft. But the Titans do have a decision to make regarding their QB future. The team toured prospects’ pro days but did not exhaust “30” visit resources at the position. Stroud is believed to be the Titans’ preference — assuming Young is out of the equation — and La Canfora views Titans trade-down talk as a smokescreen effort. Tennessee is believed to have dangled Ryan Tannehill in trades.
  • Although Jeffery Simmons staged a minicamp hold-in effort last year and lobbied for a new deal, Breer writes the Titans did not consider trading the standout defensive lineman. Ownership also assured Simmons, who since-fired GM Jon Robinson drafted in the 2019 first round, he was a long-term priority despite Robinson’s ouster,’s Terry McCormick tweets. The Titans made Simmons the NFL’s second-highest-paid defensive tackle, at $23.5MM per year, and gave him the highest D-tackle guarantee. Simmons is also coming off ankle surgery; the fifth-year standout said he underwent a cleanup procedure this offseason.
  • Jimmie Ward‘s issues with a return to cornerback last season became well known, but the longtime 49ers defender — after being moved to nickel corner again in-season — said he told DeMeco Ryans he expected last season to his his San Francisco finale. But Ward said (via KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson) Ryans communicated to him he would be interested in bringing the veteran defender to his HC destination. Ryans followed through on that, with the Texans signing Ward to a two-year, $13MM deal. Ward is back at safety.
  • Jaguars fourth-year cornerback Chris Claybrooks faces misdemeanor charges of domestic assault with bodily injury and vandalism under $1,000 stemming from an arrest earlier this month in Nashville,’s Gerry Smits reports. Claybrooks allegedly grabbed his ex-girlfriend’s arm and threw her cellphone to the ground.

Titans, Jeffery Simmons Agree On Extension

2:46pm: As expected, Simmons’ deal will move him between Donald and the field at defensive tackle. Simmons’ four-year contract is worth $94MM, Ian Rapoport of reports (on Twitter). The extension, per Davenport (on Twitter), comes with $66MM in guarantees, which include a $24MM signing bonus. In terms of total guarantees, Simmons now leads the clubhouse at D-tackle. Donald’s three-year Rams raise includes $65MM guaranteed in total.

2:13pm: Months into his GM tenure, Ran Carthon has locked down one of his new team’s top players. The Titans agreed to an extension with Jeffery Simmons on Friday, Turron Davenport of reports (on Twitter).

The standout defensive lineman was going into his fifth-year option season. This is believed to be a four-year extension pact, Davenport adds. During an offseason in which Carthon has moved some Titans mainstays off the roster, Simmons sticking around on a second contract represents a big win for the rookie GM. This deal will tie Simmons to the Titans through the 2027 season.

Simmons and the Titans engaged in talks on a new deal ahead of free agency, and the young talent said in February he wanted to stay in Tennessee. The former first-round pick has earned Pro Bowl nods in back-to-back seasons and has become one of the NFL’s best defensive linemen. Given Simmons’ path, it should be expected this deal will check in behind only Aaron Donald‘s among interior D-linemen.

A second-team All-Pro in each of the past two seasons, Simmons has combined for 16 sacks and 30 QB hits during that span. For a Titans team that has seen numerous starters go down with injuries, Simmons has remained healthy and productive. This stretch will set up the Mississippi State alum financially, and the Titans should anticipate this contract to cover much of Simmons’ prime years. Simmons is heading into his age-26 season.

This represents the second domino to fall in what should be an interesting offseason for the defensive tackle position. The Commanders franchise-tagged Daron Payne but quickly agreed to terms on a $22.5MM-per-year re-up. That still trails Donald’s outlier deal (three years, $95MM) by more than $9MM in AAV, but it comes in ahead of the previous second tier at the position. Simmons resided among the contingent of young D-tackles entering contract years. Quinnen Williams and Dexter Lawrence joined him; each will be awaiting the terms of the Titan standout’s accord. As will Chris Jones, who has a strong case to earn near-Donald-level dough from the Chiefs on his third contract.

The Titans have taken some risks in the first round recently. While some of them have not panned out, ex-GM Jon Robinson‘s 2019 call — taking Simmons despite a pre-draft ACL tear — certainly has. Simmons rehabbed in time to debut during the 2019 season, helping the Titans to the AFC championship game as a rookie. Displaying durability since that delayed debut, Simmons has since been a central contributor to Tennessee’s rise. Although the Titans lost their 2021 playoff opener as the AFC’s No. 1 seed, they sacked Joe Burrow nine times in that divisional-round game. Simmons was responsible for three of those. That spree came two months after he sacked Super Bowl LVI’s other starting QB — Matthew Stafford — thrice during a Sunday-night game.

Simmons did not participate in Tennessee’s minicamp last year, staging a hold-in of sorts. The pass-rushing dynamo did not have much leverage at that point. Teams rarely extend first-round non-quarterbacks with more than two seasons of control remaining. Simmons resurfaced soon after and played 15 games for the Titans last season, representing a bright spot for a team that somehow ran into worse injury trouble than it did in 2021. Pro Football Focus graded Simmons as the NFL’s 10th-best interior D-lineman last season. Every front office would probably move him closer to the top five at the position overall, if not within the top five.

The Titans lost Harold Landry to an ACL tear just ahead of Week 1, and Bud Dupree missed more time. The disappointing free agent signing is now off the roster. But the Titans are set to have Landry and Simmons teaming up for the first time in two years come September. Both accomplished pass rushers are now on veteran contracts. Landry agreed to a five-year, $87.5MM extension just before free agency in 2022.

Tennessee lost DeMarcus Walker in free agency but still has Denico Autry under contract. Autry, whom the Titans signed in 2021, has combined for 17 sacks over the past two seasons. The team gave D-tackle Teair Tart a second-round RFA tender in March. Simmons will remain the anchor of this group, one that should be better-positioned going into the 2023 season.

AFC South Notes: Titans, Simmons, Key

The Titans struggled to develop a consistent passing game in 2022, as they tried to fill the void left by the A.J. Brown trade. Their shortcomings in that department have led to the expectation that moves at the receiver position will be made this offseason, though little has taken place so far.

Tennessee lost Robert Woods on an intra-divisional deal with the Texans after releasing the veteran amidst a slew of cost-cutting moves. They have re-signed Nick Westbrook-Ikhine on a one-year contract, but have yet to make a decision on depth contributors Chris Conley, C.J. Board and Cody Hollister. No outside additions have been made after the first few waves of the free agent period.

“We are going to look to address it,” new GM Ran Carthon recently said of the need for new pass-catchers. “We are not trying to fill everything via free agency, but if that’s where the best option comes from, we’ll address it that way. We just have to be patient, and exercise patience and allow that to come to fruition.”

Those remarks – along with the Titans’ lack of action so far – point to the draft being the source of additions to their receiving corps. The team used a Day 1 pick on Treylon Burks last year after dealing Brown to the Eagles, but they will have plenty of options this year (headlined in most evaluations by Jaxon Smith-Njigba) with the No. 11 pick. Tennessee also has a second- and third-rounder as part of their draft capital.

Here are some other AFC South notes, starting with one more out of Nashville:

  • Tennessee has been in talks on a new deal for defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons, per ESPN’s Dan Graziano. That comes as little surprise, since he is set to play on the fifth-year option in 2023 ($10.75MM), but represents an obvious priority from a finanal standpoint. The 25-year-old put together another highly productive season in 2022, earning Pro Bowl and second-team All-Pro honors for the second straight year. Simmons has made clear his intention to remain with the team long-term, something which will no doubt require a hugely lucrative multi-year deal.
  • Defensive end Arden Key spent the 2022 season in Jacksonville, and put up the second most productive season of his career (27 tackles, 4.5 sacks). The Jaguars felt they would be able to re-up the veteran, as noted by ESPN’s Michael DiRocco, something which would have allowed the team to retain useful edge rushing depth. Instead, Key signed a three-year, $21MM deal in Tennessee last month, leaving the Jaguars in need of either a less costly free agent addition or a draft pick to replace him.

Jeffery Simmons Wants To Remain With Titans

Titans DL Jeffery Simmons just finished his second consecutive Pro Bowl campaign, and he has positioned himself well for a lucrative contract extension. Because Tennessee exercised the fifth-year option of his rookie contract, Simmons is under club control through 2023, but it sounds as if player and team are interested in a longer arrangement.

In speaking with reporters at this weekend’s Pro Bowl festivities, Simmons said that he recently sat down with new Titans GM Ran Carthon. While Carthon did not make any promises, he told Simmons that a new contract for the Mississippi State product is a priority, and the relationship between the two men is apparently in good shape (via Jim Wyatt of the team’s official website).

“We had a great talk, and him saying I am one of his priorities, that meant a lot,” Simmons said. “I feel like he is the person for this job. There’s not much I can say especially with talk of the contract – my (agent) is handling that. But whenever we get to that point – I feel very confident that I’ll be here in Tennessee, and I want to be in Tennessee. So, we’ll see how that goes.”

While the Titans ended the 2022 season on a seven-game losing streak that knocked them out of the postseason hunt, Simmons held up his end of the bargain. In 15 games, he tallied 7.5 sacks and 54 total tackles and once again fared well in the eyes of advanced metrics. Pro Football Focus assigned him a stellar 81.1 overall grade for his work — a top-10 figure among interior defenders — with strong marks for his efforts against both the run and pass.

It therefore makes sense that Carthon would want to keep Simmons as the anchor of Tennessee’s defensive front for the foreseeable future, though that will be a costly proposition. Spotrac presently suggests that Simmons merits a four-year deal worth over $86MM, which would represent a $21MM+ per year payout. That type of contract would put Simmons near the top of the interior defender market, behind only future Hall-of-Famer Aaron Donald‘s $31.6MM AAV.

Interestingly, it appears that Simmons has now secured representation. Reports last summer concerning Simmons’ “hold-in” — which both Simmons and the Titans said was unrelated to his contract status — indicated that he was operating without an agent. Now, however, Spotrac lists Paul DeRousselle as his agent.

If a new contract does not come to fruition, Simmons will earn $10.6MM in 2023.

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.

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 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.

Extension Candidate: Jeffery Simmons

It’s no secret that Jeffery Simmons is interested in a new contract. The fourth-year defensive tackle staged a “hold-in” at the Titans’ mandatory minicamp this month. A “hold-in” is where a player attends the required sessions without competing in any of the drills. It’s meant to act as a hold-out without triggering any of the fines that would come along with not attending the required sessions.

Now both Simmons and the Titans’ coaches deny that the “hold-in” has anything to do with any contract issues. Titans head coach Mike Vrabel attributed his lack of participation to “the plan laid out by the team” in order for him to be ready for training camp, according to Terry McCormick of Regardless, Simmons and Tennessee are going through the process of determining what the future holds for their union and it will likely require some negotiation.

Tennessee drafted Simmons out of Mississippi State with their first pick of the 2019 NFL Draft. Simmons had a slow start at the pro-level. A torn ACL suffered during draft prep kept him on the reserve/non-football injury list until mid-October of his rookie season. He promptly recorded a sack in his NFL debut, but only finished the season with 2.0 sacks, 4.0 tackles for loss, and 2 quarterback hits.

In his sophomore season, Simmons claimed his role as a full-time starter in the middle of the line, thanks in part to the departure of veteran Jurrell Casey to Denver. In his first full NFL season, Simmons showed improvement in his ability to apply pressure in the backfield with 14 quarterback hits, but struggled to convert those into strong finishes, only totaling 3.0 sacks and 3.0 tackles for loss by the end of the year. He did display a talent for batting balls at the line, a highly sought after trait for defensive linemen, recording 5 passes defensed in his second season.

2021 saw a breakout year for Simmons. Starting all 17 games of the newly-elongated season, Simmons recorded career-highs in sacks (8.5), total tackles (54), tackles for loss (12.0), quarterback hits (16), and passes defensed (6). Simmons was named a Pro Bowler and a second-team All-Pro.

While this was clearly a great season for Simmons, the best of his career, he still has a ways to go to reach the heights of the best athletic defensive tackles in the league. His pass rushing numbers are nowhere near those of the highest paid players at his position such as Aaron Donald, DeForest Buckner, or Chris Jones. Due to the room he still has to grow, it’s hard to imagine a long-term deal for Simmons reaching the heights of $20MM+ like the players listed above.

When looking at what a long-term deal for Simmons might look like, better comparisons would be players like Javon Hargrave, Cameron Heyward, and Jonathan Allen.

Hargrave had been drafted by Washington two years before Simmons entered the league. Hargrave ended up signing an three-year extension with an average annual value (AAV) of $13MM at around the same point in his career that Simmons is in now. While Hargrave’s best season wasn’t quite what Simmons’ is, Hargrave had put together two consecutively strong seasons that led to a bit of a shorter extension but still rewarded his talent.

Heyward had a few more impressive seasons than Simmons when he signed his four-year deal with an AAV of $16.4MM. The reason why Heyward is still comparable despite his superior output is that he was 31-years-old when he signed his contract. His advanced age likely caused a slight drop in his overall value.

Allen may be the best comparison for Simmons’ current situation. 11 months ago, Allen signed a four-year extension with an AAV of $18MM. Allen was 26-years-old when he signed the deal and had two strong seasons with very similar statistics to Simmons’ best year.

With the combination of Simmons’ production and the fact that he’ll turn only 25 next month, an attempt can be made to try and estimate what an extension for him at this point might look like. Considering that the Titans would probably like to hold on to Simmons and that NFL salaries are constantly inflating, a reasonable extension would look something like a four-year, $76MM contract. More generally, expect a three- or four-year deal with an AAV of $18-19.5MM.

Now a new deal is not immediately necessary. Simmons is heading into his fourth year in the league and, as he was a first-round pick, the Titans had a fifth-year option on his rookie-contract which they exercised back in April. Still, the Titans would like to secure Simmons long-term and Simmons would like to cash in on his best season to date, as he’s only set to make $2.2MM on his base salary this year.

Simmons doesn’t have an agent, but instead refers to a “team” meant to deal with his contract. “I’m not talking to (the Titans) about my contract. I have a team in place that, if it is my contract, they’re going to talk to whoever upstairs,” Simmons told McCormick about the negotiation situation. While his contract “team” handles his potential extension, Simmons will be focused on his on-the-field team.

“My job is to be a leader, be a player and not just on the field but in the weight room, the locker room, or whatever it may be,” Simmons pronounced. “I’m on the plan and I’m sticking with it, and I’ll see you guys in camp.”