NFL Rumors: Eagles Could ‘Find a Way’ to Steal Titans Pro Bowler

Jeffery Simmons

Getty Tennessee Titans defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons in January of 2022.

What if the Philadelphia Eagles replaced Javon Hargrave with a player five years younger? It would take some smooth-talking from Howie Roseman to pry Jeffery Simmons away from the Tennessee Titans, but there is a precedent. He worked his magic last year to orchestrate a trade for A.J. Brown.

Different circumstances this time around, along with a different general manager in Nashville, of course. That won’t stop the rumor mill from churning out trade talk.

Simmons is entering the fifth and final year of his rookie contract, generally the time when franchises lock up their home-grown talent. The former first-round pick – No. 19 overall in 2019 – is due for a huge raise and, apparently, wants some assurances in terms of a long-term deal. And he hasn’t yet gotten one.

Sports Illustrated’s Ed Kracz threw out the possibility of the Eagles swooping in with an offer. They could take some of the money saved by Lane Johnson’s restructured contract – $9.4 million on this year’s salary cap, raising the number to roughly $22 million – and fit Simmons into a midnight green jersey. Kracz wrote: “The expectation is that will be used to help extend the contract of Jalen Hurts, but maybe Roseman can find a way to make it work with both QB and Simmons if it were to come to it.”

It’s a bit of wishful thinking. Then again, no one thought the Eagles were in play for Brown last offseason. If Roseman could work the financials out – Spotrac projects Simmons’ worth at $26.1 million per year – and swallow losing a first-round pick, probably the No. 10 overall pick, then it’ll be hard not to consider.

Titans GM Intent on Keeping Stud Defender

Simmons (6-foot-4, 305 pounds) is an absolute stud in the defensive trenches. A two-time All-Pro who has 16 sacks over the past two seasons, including a career-high 8.5 in 2021. Pro Football Focus ranked him as the ninth-best interior defender in 2022, handing him a 79.3 pass-rush grade after he finished with 53 total pressures.

The drama started when Simmons scrubbed his social media of Titans references, although the Tennessee front office maintains everything is copasetic. He is also believed to be 100% healed from the ankle injury that hindered him through 15 games last season. New general manager Ron Carthon revealed he has talked with Simmons at a recent season-ticket holder event. The two hugged it out, according to Jim Wyatt:

Carthon said he saw defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons at a recent event for season ticket members, “and I asked him for a hug. He gave me a hug, so I think we’re good.” Carthon called Simmons “is a great kid” and said “he’s in a great place. He’s working hard to get back healthy from his ankle.”

Howie Roseman Says Eagles Off to ‘Good Start’

Eagles general manager Howie Roseman talked to reporters in Phoenix on March 27 during the first day of the owner’s meetings. He was in a jovial mood and an honest one as he discussed the first two weeks of free agency.

The franchise has filled some necessary holes and brought some fan-favorite veterans back, including Darius Slay, James Bradberry, Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, and Jason Kelce. Roseman called it a “good start.”

“For us, it’s going to start on the defensive line and the cornerback position,” Roseman told Dave Spadaro. “Priorities are the defensive line and cornerback position. Those two spots are probably better (at this point) than I would have anticipated going into free agency.”


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