The Titans signed former Falcons RB Brian Hill to a 1-year deal. Hill, a 2017 5th-round pick, averaged 4.7 YPC last year on a career-high 100 attempts. He’ll battle Darrynton Evans and Jeremy McNichols for the #2 spot behind Derrick Henry. A Henry injury would almost certainly result in a timeshare, though.
The Titans are declining the 5th-year option on the rookie contract of former 1st-round LB Rashaan Evans. That makes 2021 the final campaign on his deal. Assuming Evans doesn't explode and earn a new contract, his expected departure could benefit Jayon Brown and/or David Long.
The Titans have taken WR Dez Fitzpatrick in Round 4 of the 2021 NFL Draft. Fitzpatrick turned in an impressive 2017 redshirt freshman season, leading the Cardinals with 9 receiving scores and ranking 2nd with 45 catches and 699 yards. He never really progressed from there, although it’s worth noting that his 833 yards last year were a career high and beat Tutu Atwell's total by more than 200. Fitzpatrick also checks the size and athleticism boxes at 6’2, 208 pounds with 4.49 speed and a 35-inch vertical. He lands in a spot with opportunity. Tennessee let Corey Davis walk in free agency, dumped WR Adam Humphries and added only WR Josh Reynolds on a 1-year contract.
The Titans selected CB Caleb Farley with the 22nd pick of the 2021 NFL Draft. Farley might have slipped because of a pair of back surgeries. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said before the draft that he “would have expected” a healthy Farley to be the 1st CB chosen. Farley also missed 2017 (his true freshman season) with an ACL tear and opted out of 2020. In between, though, he defensed 25 passes and snagged 6 INTs over 24 games with the Hokies. That’s particularly impressive because Farley arrived as a QB planning to move to WR. There’s likely still plenty of room to grow here.
Titans HC Mike Vrabel thinks WR Josh Reynolds is capable of playing both "inside and outside." Reynolds played 74% of his snaps on the outside in each of the past 2 seasons with the Rams, but positional versatility can only help his cause in Tennessee. The Titans lost a whopping 192 targets from last year with the departures of Corey Davis, Adam Humphries and Jonnu Smith, so there's plenty of opportunity for Reynolds to carve out a big role in 2021.
The Titans have agreed to a 1-year deal with WR Josh Reynolds, according to Terry McCormick of TitanInsider.com. The 26-year-old wideout posted career highs in targets (81), receptions (52) and receiving yards (618) with last year's Rams. His 11.9 yards per catch dipped vs. the previous 2 seasons, however. In Tennessee, Reynolds has a shot to replace Corey Davis opposite A.J. Brown, in a pass-catching corps that also shed Adam Humphries and TE Jonnu Smith this offseason. It's a nice landing spot for opportunity. We'll see what else the Titans add this spring.
NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports that LB Jayon Brown is re-signing with the Titans on a 1-year, $5.25 million deal. Those terms scream "prove it" contract, with Brown coming off a dislocated and fractured elbow that ended his 2020 season prematurely. We're a little surprised the productive young LB couldn't get more in this market, but perhaps teams want to see him start a full 16 games before committing beyond that level. Brown lost 8 games to injuries over the past 2 years (6 of those in 2020) after taking over a starting spot about midway through 2018. He has rated among the top LBs in coverage since then and delivered starter-level fantasy production. Barring a setback with his elbow this offseason, expect to find Brown back among the top 24 LBs in our 2021 IDP rankings.
The Titans have agreed to a 1-year deal with TE Anthony Firkser, Paul Kuharsky reports. It was an expected move and keeps the 26-year-old atop the current depth chart in a Titans offense that just let TE Jonnu Smith walk. We'll see what else Tennessee adds at the position. Firkser is OK at the TE3 level in current best-ball drafting -- with upside into TE2 range if he emerges as the starter.
The Titans are stealing a versatile D-lineman from a division rival. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that Denico Autry will be heading to Tennessee on a 3-year, $21.5 million contract with $9 million guaranteed. Autry posted 7.5 sacks last season -- 2 years after notching a career-high 9 -- and tallied 10+ QB hits each of the past 3 seasons. He's capable of playing inside or on the edge but figures to not get outside the OT so much in Tennessee's scheme. Autry was a useful IDP option in Indy but will have less talent around him with the Titans. We'll see about his production -- in his age-31 season -- in the new place. We likely won't be chasing him on fantasy-draft day, though.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that the Titans and OLB Bud Dupree have agreed to a multi-year deal that will average $16.5 million per season. It's a bold move for a Tennessee defense in desperate need of pass-rush help. The Titans ranked last in the league in sack rate last season and 2nd-worst in pressure rate. After a slow start to his career, Dupree picked up his sack production over the past 2 seasons. He tallied 11.5 in a breakout 2019 campaign and then had 8 through 11 games before tearing his right ACL on Dec. 2 against Baltimore. That injury makes this contract particularly bold. We'll keep track of Dupree's progress this offseason. Pittsburgh, meanwhile, appears ready to let 2020 rookie Alex Highsmith try to take over Dupree's starting gig -- which Highsmith did for last year's final 5 games.
NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports that Titans LB Jayon Brown got full, "unrestricted" medical clearance Friday to return from the elbow injury that ended his 2020 season. Brown fractured and dislocated his left elbow in November, but he should be fully ready for the coming season. The timing looks especially positive for Brown, as he's set to hit unrestricted free agency later this month. We'll see if the 26-year-old stays in Tennessee. Brown has spent the past 2 years as a strong IDP contributor.
The Titans have promoted Todd Downing to OC. He replaces Arthur Smith, who took the HC job in Atlanta. Downing spent the past 2 seasons as Tennessee's TEs coach. His only NFL OC experience came back in 2017 with the Raiders, who finished that year 17th in total yards and 23rd in points. The more of Smith's offense Downing can keep in place, the better.
Titans S Kenny Vaccaro is inactive for today's game against the Lions. It's the 2nd straight game he has missed with illness. Amani Hooker should start again in his place but isn't a high-level IDP option. He's been OK in 2 games of full-time duty this year, posting 6 tackles (3 solo) and 1 INT among 2 passes defensed at Baltimore; and then 7 tackles (5 solo, 1 for loss) last week against Jacksonville.
Titans S Kenny Vaccaro is inactive for today's game against the Jaguars because of an illness. Amani Hooker started and saw full playing time when Vaccaro missed Week 11.
The Titans have ruled CB Breon Borders (hip) out for Sunday's game against the Jaguars. CB Adoree' Jackson (knee) is also out, leaving Tennessee without 2 of its top 4 corners.
Titans DT Jeffery Simmons (knee) is active for today's game against the Browns. He should see plenty of tackle opportunities against the run-heavy offense and makes for a solid IDP start.
Titans DT Jeffery Simmons (knee) is questionable for Sunday's game against the Browns. We'll check his status Sunday morning.
Steelers OLB Bud Dupree tore his right ACL late in Wednesday's win over the Ravens. Dupree is currently tied for 7th in the league with 8 sacks and was on pace to match his career high of 11.5 from last season. It's particularly unfortunate timing for Dupree, who is due to hit unrestricted free agency in March. Rookie Alex Highsmith figures to take over most of Dupree's snaps. The 3rd-round pick has 1 sack and 3 tackles for loss in limited playing time this season. He had already seen increased playing time over the 4 games leading up to Wednesday vs. Baltimore.
Titans ILB Jayon Brown is expected to miss the rest of the season after injuring his left elbow in Sunday's win over the Ravens, according to multiple reports. He fractured and dislocated the elbow, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. That positions Rashaan Evans as the lead ILB for Tennessee going forward. Will Compton took over and closed out the game in Brown's spot Sunday.
The Titans have ruled S Kenny Vaccaro out for today's game against the Ravens and placed him in the concussion protocol. It was a late-developing situation. Vaccaro was limited Thursday and listed with a neck injury but returned for full participation Friday. Joshua Kalu looks like the next man up at SS for Tennessee but isn't a strong IDP option.
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