• Brian L. Barefield

Former Texan Could Cause Havoc In His Old Division.

One division to watch this year is the AFC South. Some of the moves they have made this off-season has been very interesting.

The Houston Texans traded away All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals for former All-Pro running back David Johnson. They were also able to acquire wide receiver Brandin Cooks in the same manner from the Rams. These moves improve them on the offensive end as they head into the draft with a “defensive mindset.”

Jacksonville traded their 2019 biggest free agent acquisition in former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles, to the Chicago Bears for draft picks in the 2020 NFL Draft. Rumors are also swirling around their facilities that running back Leonard Fournette may be on the trading block as their defensive superstar, Yannick Ngakoue is on social media almost forcing the franchise to let him go. Second-year quarterback Gardner Minshew II has been given the starting job. For now.

So many questions swirling around the Indianapolis Colts and their signing of free agent quarterback, Philip Rivers to a one-year deal. Some wonder if that made them a better team or one that will regress and look to draft a quarterback in 2021.

Yet, the one team laying low is the Tennessee Titans, and they just may make the biggest splash of them all. Tennessee took care of its quarterback controversy by signing Ryan Tannehill to a four-year deal worth $118 million with $62 million guaranteed. That signing allowed their former No.1 pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, Marcus Mariota to leave via free agency and sign with the Las Vegas Raiders.

Now there has been some rumblings that the Titans have a strong interest in boosting their defensive line by bringing in former Seattle Seahawks and Houston Texans defensive end, Jadeveon Clowney if the price is right. Titans General Manager, Jon Robinson has been very vocal about his pursuit of Clowney and told the media that Tennessee has not closed the door on bringing him in.

The Titans currently have $22 million in open cap space to work with before the draft and are expecting to reach out at least one more time to Clowney and his representatives before Thursday. If they cannot come to terms, Tennessee may use its 29th pick in the first-round on an edge rusher.

One thing that is plays into Clowney’s favor is his former defensive coordinator with the Houston Texans Mike Vrabel, who is the current head coach of the Titans. Vrabel coached the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft by Houston for three years before going to Tennessee as the head coach.

"When I coached J.D., J.D. was prepared," Vrabel said last month to the media. "We did a lot with him and put him in a lot of different places to try and have him help us affect the game. And he played extremely hard. I never had an issue with J.D.'s effort on the field."

No one really knows the price tag for Clowney as it started out as $20 million per year, but rumors have it that his representation says he is willing to go as low as $17 million. I have a feeling that if he drops it to $15 million, we could see him suiting up for the Titans who are trying to make a return visit to the AFC Championship Game.

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