The Tennessee Titans were on the field on Monday June 14 for the start of mandatory minicamp. The three-day camp will run through Thursday June 16 and marks the first time the entire team will take the practice field together ahead of the 2022 regular season, and will feature veterans, draft picks and free agent acquisitions.
Monday’s practice is officially in the books and we’ve compiled several intriguing news and notes.
Jeffery Simmons was not on the field for opening day of minicamp. Shane Bowen spoke as if he expected participation. JS was on a bike for a time. Open for speculation as to whether it’s contract related. Odds Vrabel keeps it convoluted? Probably high. #Titans— Paul Kuharsky (@PaulKuharskyNFL) June 14, 2022
Jeffery Simmons’ lack of participation will certainly garner some intrigue. Simmons is set to earn a base salary of $2.2 million in 2021 on the fourth year of his rookie deal. General Manager Jon Robinson has already exercised the fifth-year option on Simmons’ contract, which is scheduled to pay him $10,753 million in 2023. It represents a bargain for the Titans in both 2022 and 2023, and Simmons is due a significant raise in pay either this year or next. Simmons self-represents himself, and could be looking at Aaron Donald’s new contract as a starting point for negotiations.
First-round receiver Treylon Burks was not on the field for Monday’s practice. It’s another development in what’s been a difficult offseason for the former Arkansas standout. Burks was unable to finish his first rookie minicamp practice. On the second day of Tennessee’s organized team activities (OTAs), Burks once again exited and returned to practice on multiple occasions. Titans receivers coach Rob Moore recently revealed that Burks suffers from asthma. The weekly forecast in Nashville is HOT this week, which doesn’t lean favorably to Burks’ issues. This is still a non-story for now, but it’s worth monitoring going forward.
In more positive news, it’s terrific to hear that rookie tight end Chigoziem Okonkwo was so productive in Monday’s debut mandatory minicamp practice. Okonkwo could surprise analysts as a first-year player to make an immediate and positive impact on Tennessee’s offense in 2022. Ryan Tannehill has already raved about Okonkwo’s abilities. Geoff Swaim is standing in Okonkwo’s way of being on the field with great consistency in 2022.
Josh Malone is a receiver that I’m predicting will endear himself to this fan base throughout training camp and the preseason. I’m certainly not ready to proclaim that Malone will make the 53-man roster, but I view him as a candidate to capture some momentum. Locals may be familiar with Malone, who played college football for the Tennessee Volunteers. Don’t be shocked if Malone earns reps with the first team on multiple occasions this summer.
Stay tuned to MCM.