Why? Well from Casey’s perspective, it has to do with the manner and price for which he left Nashville.
“The part that is so crazy is that you give so much to them. Especially when you come up on free agency and have opportunities to go somewhere else. Especially the way it was going when we were there, 2-14, 3-13. Those were some rough times. When you’re a loyal guy and you feel like things are going in the right direction and you’re that centerpiece, you got no choice but to fight it through. My mindset was to stick it out and things would get better.
“For us to get to that point to get better and to be a main focus of that and then you just throw me away to the trash like I wasn’t a main block of that … Coming off an injury the year before and playing the whole season for ya’ll. No complaints, I did everything you wanted me to do and you throw me like a piece of trash. At the end of the day, none of these businesses are loyal.”
The former USC Trojan was selected by the Titans in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft. Casey has been selected to the Pro Bowl five-straight seasons since 2015, with 2019’s selection coming after five sacks, 44 combined tackles and a forced fumble.
Casey Learned of Trade 30 Seconds Before
Casey went on to add further context to the nature of the trade, saying that the Titans did not call him directly to inform him of the trade and that the info came very shortly before it became official.
“It was a blow to the heart because I would have thought that one of them would have hit me up,” Casey said. “The part that hurt me the most was that I didn’t get a call until like 30 seconds before the trade went down. For three or four days I had some moments where I had to tell the wife to give me a minute and I had a lot of tears come out of there.”
If Casey is interested in showing the Titans what they’ll be missing in 2020, he’ll get a very early chance: Tennessee and Denver open their respective 2020 seasons at Mile High Stadium for Monday Night Football.
Back in 2017, the Titans locked Casey down to a six-year, $60.4 million contract, which contained $23.4 million guaranteed.
In 2020, the defensive tackle is due $11.25 million in base salary plus another $537,500 in bonuses, which means a cap hit of $11,787,500 for the Broncos in 2020.
The number only goes up for Casey, who is due $12,281,000 in 2021 and $13,850,000 in 2022. However, Denver will be able to cut Casey at any time without taking a “dead money” hit, as the Titans are still responsible for the guaranteed money owed to Casey down the road.
Evan Reier is a sportswriter covering all kinds of football for Heavy.com and local sports for the Montana Standard in Butte, MT. Follow and reach out to him on Twitter at @evanreier.