One of the biggest stories from the first day of Tennessee Titans mandatory minicamp surrounded the inactivity of superstar defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons. Simmons was not on the field Monday, nor did he practice on Tuesday. Simmons was on a bike and did some individual work on the sidelines throughout both days. Head coach Mike Vrabel simply said Simmons was “unavailable.” Simmons’ lack of on-field participation has garnered some intrigue and ignited talks that Simmons could possibly be going through a “soft holdout” while attempting to land himself a new contract. Simmons debunked those thoughts on Tuesday.
“I’m here to play football,” Simmons said. “I have a team around me that handles my contract situation. I’m focused on training and getting ready for the season. I’m on a plan with coach Vrabel and everyone. As they said, I’m unavailable to practice. I’m focusing on improving. I’ve been in the film and weight room. My focus is not on my contract. That’s why I have a team around me,” Simmons concluded.
It’s worth noting Simmons actually doesn’t employ an agent. Simmons is set to earn a base salary of $2.2 million in 2022 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 after the former Mississippi State standout exploded for 8.5 regular-season sacks and another 3.0 sacks in Tennessee’s lone postseason contest.
Simmons is going to become one of the highest paid defenders in the league. Stay tuned to MCM.