(Mandatory Image Credit: Steve Roberts / USA Today Sports)
Written by: Joseph Yun
Earlier this afternoon, the news came out that rising superstar defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons and the Tennessee Titans agreed to a new megabucks contract extension, keeping him in Tennessee for the long term. It indeed can be described as a Good (no, Great) Friday for the Simmons family and Titans fans everywhere. $94 million can buy a lot of eggs (Easter or otherwise), even in this economy!
ESPN’s Titans reporter Turron Davenport had the news to share
After some time, the contract details were revealed by numerous outlets, including NFL Network’s Ian Rapaport
Simmons (@GrindSimmons94) had his own reactions for the fans via Twitter
How does the deal look in the tackle market?
According to Spotrac, Simmons’ new deal would be the second highest annual value, clocking in an excellent $23.5 million, trailing only the incomparable future Hall of Fame tackle Aaron Donald’s $31.6 million. This contract eclipses the previous (non-AD) standard set by Washington’s Daron Payne ($22.5M). Regarding the total contract value, he again sits in second place behind AD with a mere million-dollar separation between the two ($95M to $94).
Simmons’ total deal sits above other luminaries like Payne, Deforest Bucker, Javon Hargrave, and Chris Jones in the top six DT deals. Once more, he is second for total guarantees behind AD, with $66 million guaranteed.
He will likely be eclipsed by another young stud at the position, the Jets’ Quinnen Williams, who is up for a deal this offseason.
What does it mean for the Titans and Simmons?
Simply put, he’s in the discussion for being the best non-Aaron Donald tackle in the game today. Tennessee has had a monstrous defensive front during Simmons’ tenure. He’s the fulcrum of the potent front four that the Titans have built around. The former first-round selection is just entering his age-26 season and will see another contract by the time he turns 30. He has amassed 21 sacks, 19 passes defended, and 189 total tackles thus far in his career.
Tennessee has played him at both defensive end and tackle in their base defense, and he’s the type of stalwart that covers up a lot of holes elsewhere. The positional versatility will only help as Harold Landry and Denico Autry get healthier. The Titans’ defense is the in-between state of the youth taking the next step and older veteran know-how personified.
Simmons can now rest easy that he’ll be a Tennessee Titan for the foreseeable future now that the deal all but erases the rampant trade speculation (among fans) and the harbinger of social media deletion that it brings in modern-day negotiations. He will play this upcoming season on the fifth-year option (a shade over $10 million), which was already factored into the Titans’ cap situation (a little over $7 million currently). The 2024 season is when the big deal will kick into a much more manageable cap for Tennessee with a projected $119 million in space.
General Manager Ran Carthon has had an effective debut offseason, filling in holes with high upside plays, and now the Simmons deal to solidify a talented defensive core. The draft is mere weeks away this month and Tennessee currently holds the 11th overall selection amidst speculation about a move up into the top ten.