While the Buffalo Bills aren’t expected to make any big moves in the free agency market, defensive tackle DaQuan Jones appears to be trying to work his magic to recruit Tennessee Titans star Jeffery Simmons, who requested an extension before the start of the 2023 NFL season.
Simmons is not a free agent, but he’s entering the final fifth-year option of his rookie contract which is set to pay him $10.7 million and does not have a long-term deal in place.
“I want to be here for a long time,” Simmons said, per The Tennessean in January. “I want to finish my career here. If we can get a deal done this offseason, I hope that’s the plan on both sides. I don’t want to get into next year then something happens with the contract or we get into the offseason and I hit free agency.”
While the former first-round pick from the 2019 NFL Draft said, “I love Tennessee. I want to be here,” he has since deleted his Twitter account and removed all mentions and photos of the Titans from his Instagram page. On Friday, March 10, Jones, who used to be teammates with Simmons in Tennessee, caused a stir on Twitter by sharing a photo of the duo working out together. “Wouldn’t he look in a Bills uniform,” Jones tweeted.
Fans and analysts had strongly mixed reactions to Jones’ attempt to recruit the two-time All-Pro to Buffalo. While Cover 1 host Aaron Quinn tweeted, “Don’t tease us like that,” and shared a GIF that read, “Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane,” a Titans fan responded, “Back off, DaQuan!!! Just finish up your stint in Buffalo and come back to the Titans!”
Simmons Is About to Be One the Highest Paid Tackles in the NFL
While the idea of landing Simmons is undeniably exciting, and yes, he’d look great in a Bills uniform, the two-time Pro Bowler is looking to get paid big money. According to Spotrac.com, Simmons’ market value has him receiving a four-year, $86.2 million extension, which prices Buffalo out of the market should he demand a release.
Pro Football Network‘s Dalton Miller named Simmons as the third best defensive tackle currently in the NFL, behind only Aaron Donald and Chris Jones. “Simmons is a rare breed. He’s one of the few defensive tackles able to find production immediately at the NFL level,” Miller wrote. “While he didn’t quite produce at the same level he had in 2021, Simmons still hovered around the top 10 in most statistical categories on the defensive interior.
“His 53 pressures ranked seventh in the league, and his 7.5 sacks ranked eighth. Simmons is also one of the best run defenders you’ll find at defensive tackle, despite not being a 330-pound behemoth. He possesses outrageous power in his hands and is an immediate processor.”
Trade Proposals for Simmons Include a First-Rounder
If the Bills wanted to trade for Simmons, they would have to include a first-round pick and because Buffalo must prioritize landing an offensive lineman, wide receiver, or safety, it seems highly unlikely general manager Brandon Beane would give up such a valuable asset for a tackle, even one as elite as Simmons.
However, it appears to be a moot point since according to Titans Wire‘s Mike Moraitis, who noted that Tennessee would be gunning to snag the No. 1 overall pick from the Chicago Bears should they agree to a trade Simmons. However, on March 10, the Bears gave their No. 1 overall pick to the Carolina Panthers in a blockbuster trade, per ESPN‘s Adam Schefter.
The most likely scenario is that Tennessee ponies up the cash for Simmons and locks him down to a long-term deal. Moraitis wrote, “Assuming the Titans aren’t blowing it up for a full rebuild, there’s no way the team doesn’t get something done with the star defender. Even if they do rebuild, Simmons, 25, is young enough to keep in such a situation.”