By now you’re aware the Tennessee Titans signed superstar defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons to a massive four-year extension worth $94 million. Simmons will earn an average annual salary of $23.5 million, which currently makes him the second-highest paid interior defender in the league behind Aaron Donald. What wasn’t initially known is that Simmons’ extension saves the Titans approximately $4 million against the 2023 cap, per Paul Kuharsky.
Jeffery Simmons’ new deal saves the #Titans $4 million vs. the 2023 cap.— Paul Kuharsky (@PaulKuharskyNFL) April 13, 2023
Simmons was previously scheduled to play out the 2023 campaign on the fifth-year player option, which carried a fully-guaranteed sum of $10.753 million, per Spotrac. Simmons will technically still perform on the fifth-year option, but the Titans managed to lower the cap hit to $6.753 million, per Kuharsky. It creates some much-needed breathing room for the cash-strapped Titans, who had approximately just $7.4 million in financial flexibility before the Simmons extension, according to Spotrac.
The Simmons savings bring the Titans above $10 million in cap space. Roughly half of that amount must be reserved to sign their 2023 NFL Draft class. General manager Ran Carthon could create additional space by toying with the contracts of Ryan Tannehill, Derrick Henry, or Kevin Byard.
Simmons received $66 million in guaranteed money. Simmons’ extension also includes a $24 million signing bonus. It’s life-changing money for Tennessee’s premier defender. Carthon found a way to help the Titans create immediate cap space in the process. It’s a savvy piece of business for both sides.
One hint on how Carthon may utilize his remaining space was revealed on Wednesday. The Titans hosted free-agent receiver Chris Moore on a visit, per Mike Garafolo. Moore recorded a career-high 48 receptions for 548 receiving yards while playing with the Houston Texans in 2022. Moore is predominantly a slot receiver that would add competition to the position alongside Kyle Philips.