Naquan Jones

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.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/22/21

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here:

Dallas Cowboys

  • Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list: LB Keanu Neal; as a high-risk close contact, per The Athletic’s Jon Machota (on Twitter), Neal can return after a five-day isolation period

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Las Vegas Raiders

Minnesota Vikings

Tennessee Titans

Wednesday NFL Transactions: AFC South

Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline Tuesday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters. In addition to waiver claims, teams can begin constructing their 16-man practice squads today. These ColtsJaguarsTexans and Titans moves are noted below.

Here are Wednesday’s AFC South transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day.

Houston Texans

Signed to practice squad: 

Indianapolis Colts

Claimed:

Waived:

Signed to practice squad:

Jacksonville Jaguars

Claimed:

Signed to practice squad:

Tennessee Titans

Claimed:

Released:

Signed to practice squad: 

Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list:

Titans Reduce Roster To 53

The Titans have officially trimmed their roster to 53 players. Tennessee made the following moves:

Waived

A pair of wideouts headline this list of waived players. Fitzpatrick was a fourth-round pick by the organization in this past year’s draft. The 6-foot-2 receiver was a standout during his stint at Louisville, leading to the Titans trading three picks to move up and select him. The rookie could end up falling through to the practice squad, but considering his draft stock, there’s a chance another team will claim him.

Meanwhile, Kinsey was an unheralded acquisition, but he made a name for himself following a strong preseason. The wideout finished August with 14 receptions for 131 yards and one touchdown.

Titans Sign 10 UDFAs

If you’re a big fan of undrafted free agents, we’ve got TEN more for you. The Titans announced today that they’ve added 10 rookies to their roster:

Who were the big earners? Carter earned $50K guaranteed, which includes $37.5K of his base salary (via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle on Twitter). Jones got $45K in guaranteed money, which includes $35K in base salary and a $10K signing bonus (via Wilson), while Forristall received $23K in guaranteed money (via Wilson).

Per usual with these kind of signings, the special teams additions are especially interesting. It doesn’t seem like veteran kicker Stephen Gostkowski will be back, meaning Haubeil will likely be competing with 2020 undrafted free agent Tucker McCann for the kicking gig. It’d be more difficult for Smith to make the roster considering the presence of Pro Bowler Brett Kern, but the team could be starting to prepare for the veteran punter’s inevitable retirement.