NASHVILLE, Tenn. – J.J. Watt’s got the name and the flash.

More importantly, he could bring the Tennessee Titans a combination of production and leadership in the pass rush, provided he can stay healthy.

Watt announced Friday morning he and the Texans, for whom he’s played for 10 years, granted his request for his release. He’s immediately on the market.VrabelWatt

Photo courtesy Houston Texans

Lines will immediately be drawn from Watt to Mike Vrabel, who worked with him during four seasons in Houston, three as the linebackers and pass-rush coach, one as the defensive coordinator.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Deshaun Watson may force his way out of Houston in a move that will represent the peak of NFL player power.

On its face, that sounds great.

But will it ultimately be good for the game?

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I want more for NFL players, who’ve got the weakest deal with their league of all the major pro sports in America. Because of football’s physicality, career lifespans are shorter, and the union is less willing to sit out long enough to make game-changing gains in collective bargaining sessions.

The owners always win on the biggest issues.

Given a choice between billionaire owners and millionaire players who are taking the hits and the consequences that come with them, I’m generally going to be with the players.

But bad ownership is part of pro sports, and the Texans have it now. It sucks that players have little recourse. It seems even his teammates want Watson to gain his freedom. Without him, there will still be 53-guys on a roster put together by Cal McNair's people come opening day. Years and years of fan discontent hasn't broken through with franchise owners worse than him.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Covid-19 attendance restrictions put so much on pause for the NFL and the Titans in the 2020 season.

Presumably, the Titans continued to work on some of their issues to the degree that they could.

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The on-field product has gotten much better.

After a year on pause, we don’t really know about the fan experience. One idea not connected to the stadium -- the pop-up shops with exclusive clothing -- were a smart idea and a big success.

But with 21 percent capacity, the Titans have no idea, and we have no idea, if they are any better at getting people into Nissan Stadium, if Bills and Bears fans would have ruled the building or if the concession experience would have been any better.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – For the better part of 20 years, fans of the Titans would watch games around the league, see receivers make fantastic catches, and rightfully ask, those are allowed?

Sure, a Tennessee wideout occasionally made a highlight-reel grab. See Nate Washington’s wraparound against Detroit in 2012.

But for the most part, the team’s struggles to find talent at the position and an uninventive passing game meant a low-percentage of feature moments.

In the last couple of seasons, the team has found guys who make aggressive, impressive catches, taking the ball away from defenders and running away from them, solving the issue.

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The issue that's been growing into the franchise's major one instead is the lack of a pass rush.

And so in Tampa Bay’s impressive win in Super Bowl XV, Titans followers could fairly have watched the Buccaneers find regular pressure on Patrick Mahomes with a four-man rush and asked, you can do that?

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Shrek was released in theaters on April 22, 2001.

Several Titans teammates thought popular defensive lineman Josh Evans bore a resemblance to the cartoon ogre, voiced by Mike MyersJoshEvans

I’ve always smiled when thinking of Evans, who passed away Friday at 48 after a cancer fight, recalling the Shrek story that made so many on the team and in the press corps laugh.

The good-natured Evans, laughed too – up to a point.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A few thoughts ahead of Super Bowl LV…SB55 Primary City RGB r

I’m a sucker for a good logo.

The NFL’s switch to a generic Super Bowl logo for the 2010 season was symbolic. It took the life and the essence out of the emblem of the game, making things generic rather than giving each its individual flavor.

Thankfully the game itself has avoided the cookie-cutter desires of Park Avenue.

But in time, are we ever going to see the logo for this year’s game and connect it with the big moment in this game?

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – No matter where the NFL salary cap number for 2021 lands and how the Titans may free up money, the timing of the details may present an obstacle for them in attempts to re-sign their own players.

In what will be a unique trip toward free agency, cap uncertainty coming out of the Covid-19 adjusted NFL season could have a big bearing on Tennessee’s ability to have comprehensive negotiations with Jonnu Smith, Corey Davis, Jayon Brown, DaQuan Jones and/or Demond King.BrownCelebrateEagles

The cap will be no lower than $175 million, which would be a reduction of a bit over $23 million. NFLPA sources believe it will settle at $180 million, per Pat Leonard of the NY Daily News. It’s also reportedly possible it could be $195, which would be down only $3.2 million.

So there is a wide range of possibilities, which seems understandable as the NFL and the NFLPA sort through what happened with revenue in a season where there was severely limited attendance due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The 2021 league year starts on March 17.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – His knee was strengthening. He was disconnected from any team. No contract offers were pending, as kicker demand wasn’t a thing in the winter and spring with the Covid-19 adjusted offseason.

Ryan Succop could relax and get right.

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Cut by the Titans in March, he went regularly a few houses down to Nashville friend, and former teammate Luke Stocker’s place.

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