AFC South Notes: Colts, Jaguars, Texans, Titans

     

Colts

Colts’ new CB Xavier Rhodes said it felt unusual to be an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career after being released by the Vikings.

“It was an eye-opener to the point where you don’t have a job for a couple of days, a couple of weeks so it’s like, ‘Dang, I never thought I would be to this point,’” Rhodes said, via Kevin Bowen of 1075TheFan. “But again, you have to realize where you are at. This is the NFL, it’s a business. So right now, I just accepted the fact and I am ready to move on and play for Indy.”

Rhodes added that being cut by Minnesota was a “reality check” and feels he must continue proving himself in the NFL. 

“When you’re with a team and achieved so much with one team, you just think that’s going to be forever. But then it’s a reality check and you realize it’s time to get on it. This is a business at the end of the day. No one is safe, no matter who you are or what player you are. As you can see, there are many other players we can use as examples. It’s just a reality check to the point where no one is irreplaceable in this league. You always have to be on your best behavior. You always have to prove yourself each and every week, each and every year. Every year is a new year. So no matter what you did last year, or the year before, it’s all about what you’re doing this year.”

Rhodes mentioned that he has been working on his pass disruptions, but feels that he was still solid in coverage last season.  

“If you watch the film it wasn’t that I was getting beat or anything. I just couldn’t get the ball out of the receiver’s hands. I was on every receiver I was covering – just the point of getting the ball out of their hands. That’s what I have been working on this year, locating the ball a lot faster, reacting to the ball a lot faster than I was last year.”

  • New Colts CB T.J. Carrie said he wanted to embrace a versatile role with Indianapolis, including backing up slot CB Kenny Moore. (Stephen Holder)
  • Colts DT Sheldon Day signed a one-year deal worth $1.75 million that includes $1 million guaranteed. It also includes a $500,000 signing bonus and up to $250,000 in active roster bonuses. (Aaron Wilson)

Jaguars

Jaguars HC Doug Marrone said he appreciates DE Yannick Ngakoue but understands that Jacksonville cannot afford his contractual demands. 

Yannick has been great,” Marrone said, via ProFootballTalk. “He’s done everything I’ve asked him to do as a head coach and everything Todd Wash has asked him to do on the defensive coordinator. When the business starts getting involved, it’s tough. As a coach, you always want your players to be happy. You want the best for your players. From that standpoint, I understand the challenges that are going on for Yann. When you look at our whole organization and how much we appreciate and love him, I think the organization and the rules of the league and the CBA, I think the players have rights and the teams have rights and what you do as a coach is hope all this stuff can be resolved in a positive way for everyone. I’m just hoping that somewhere down the line or somehow all this stuff can be resolved in a way, but again I understand both sides to it. It’s a part that I’ve always struggled with, the business end of it.”

Marrone reiterated that he is hopeful to resolve Ngakoue’s situation in the near future. 

“It’s just tough; it really is, especially with a player that has done everything we’ve asked. I’m hoping that somewhere down the line we can get this situation resolved.”

  • Jaguars DT Al Woods‘ one-year, $2.5 million deal includes a $500,000 signing bonus and $500,000 of his $1.5 million base salary is guaranteed. He can earn up to $500,000 in per-game active roster bonuses and another $250,000 in playing-time incentives. (Aaron Wilson)

Texans

  • Per the Athletic’s Mike Sando, NFL evaluators said the trade of WR DeAndre Hopkins was less surprising — Houston had been quietly shopping him for a year and a half — but nearly all of them criticized the return HC/GM Bill O’Brien got even if they understood or even agreed with the rationale: “It seemed like it was, ‘I want to get rid of the guy because I don’t want the guy,’ instead of, ‘I want to get rid of the guy to get better.’” 

Titans

  • Per the Athletic’s Mike Sando, NFL executives questioned if QB Ryan Tannehill and RB Derrick Henry would be major parts of the team after two years. Tannehill signed a four-year, $118 million deal while Henry is on the franchise tag: “It looks great today, everyone is happy, the fans are excited, but in 2022 are Tannehill and Henry starting for you?”
  • At least one evaluator liked the move the Titans made to trade DT Jurrell Casey and clear salary even though they only got a seventh-round pick back: “Big picture, trading Casey gets Jeffery Simmons on the field, and he is really, really good,” an evaluator said. “The other guy who is really underrated there and who you cannot block on the run is DaQuan Jones, who makes half the money Casey makes. I’m absolutely fine with the Casey move.”
  • Titans GM Jon Robinson addressed the trade of Casey: “We have a ton of respect for Jurrell but we felt it was time to go in a different direction. There’s a ton of business that has to be addressed in free agency.” (Turron Davenport)
  • The Titans plan to continue negotiations with Henry for a long-term deal before the start of training camp. (Terry McCormick)
  • Robinson said the team is still looking at some players still available, like DE Jadeveon Clowney and CB Logan Ryan: “We’re still looking at guys that are available. There are some guys we’ve had discussion. I don’t know that we’re done, but I wouldn’t expect a flurry of activity.”
  • Regarding a potential deal for Clowney, Titans HC Mike Vrabel said he didn’t have any issues with it based on his experience as Clowney’s position coach in Houston: “The health issue isn’t for me to decide. When I coached him he was prepared. We did a lot with him and put him in different places to affect the game. He played extremely hard. We asked him to do a lot and he did a lot for us.” (Davenport)
  • Tennessee is also considering extensions for some players with expiring contracts coming up. (Davenport)
  • Robinson noted Titans QB Logan Woodside would have the chance to compete for the backup quarterback job but the Titans could bring in someone else. (McCormick)
  • Robinson said the team saw an opportunity to help DE Vic Beasley realize some of his potential that he couldn’t with his former team in Atlanta: “Just thought there was an ability/skill set there that we can hone. (Vrabel) played (a lot of) years in the NFL at that position. I think he can work with Vic along with OLB coach Shane Bowen and hopefully take him to another level.” (Erik Bacharach)
  • The Titans have still not made a final decision on fifth-year options for WR Corey Davis and CB Adoree’ Jackson. (McCormick)
  • While Robinson liked what K Greg Joseph brought later in the year, he added the Titans will likely bring in competition: “I thought Greg did a nice job steadying the rudder for us. We’ll add some competition there just like any other position.” (McCormick)
  • Titans LB Nick Dzubnar signed a one-year, $1.047 million, including a $137,500 signing bonus and a veteran salary benefit. (Aaron Wilson)
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