Titans have just a month left to get a deal done with Derrick Henry

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans have one month to negotiate a long-term deal with Derrick Henry, otherwise he’s got to play the 2020 season under the franchise tag and the sides cannot talk about a new contract until after the season ends.

Henry is due to make $10.278 million under the tag. The Titans tagged him March 16 and he signed it on April 2.

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The debate over second contracts for running backs is one of the biggest in football, except that the pay-them side is shrinking and doesn’t have a great deal of support from recent evidence.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – "Where are the NFL Owners now during this powerful movement?"

That’s the title to a Wednesday tweet by ESPN reporter Dianna Russini of a video clip from Get Up.

In it, she suggested that numerous NFL owners listen to Hall of Famer Jerry Jones and seemed likely to wait to hear from the Cowboys owner and follow the lead of the first domino to speak on social injustice – an idea that gained traction with at least one other outlet.AmyAdamsStrunk2019

But actually we’d seen or heard statements from at least 10 NFL owners, 32 percent of them, by then -- Jeffrey Lurie of the Eagles, Gayle Benson of the Saints, Steve Bisciotti of the Ravens, Jed York of the 49ers, George McCaskey of the Bears, Jim Irsay of the Colts, Dee and Jim Haslam of the Browns, Kim and Terry Pegula of the Bills, Cal McNair of the Texans and Shad Khan of the Jaguars.

Commissioner Roger Goodell also wasn't waiting on Jones when he apologized to players for the league’s failure to support them before and pledged to change last week. He did that just a day after an impactful video was released by some of the league’s most visible players, and many of us wondered if Goodell had consulted with any of his bosses at all before making his statement.

Titans owner Amy Adams Strunk stepped forward Thursday with a strong statement of her own, also ahead of Jones.

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Shane Bowen to be Mike Vrabel's top defensive lieutenant

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – As head coach, Mike Vrabel is going to have to step away from being the head of the Titans' defense.

When he leaves defensive meetings to be with the offense or special teams or for other CEO duties, outside linebackers coach Shane Bowen (pictured below, right) will take the defensive lead, Vrabel said Thursday in a Zoom meeting with reporters.

It’s the furthest Vrabel has gone at acknowledging he is the de facto defensive coordinator after Dean Pees retired and Vrabel didn’t hire or designate anyone to replace him.VrabelOfficeZoom

I’ve presumed from early on that Vrabel will be the defensive play-caller, which is not as big a job as offensive play-caller, a job done by several head coaches including Andy Reid and Kyle Shanahan, who squared off in the Super Bowl.

Vrabel still says he does not know. [Unlocked]

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Impassioned Ryan Tannehill expands on support for Black Lives Matter

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Ryan Tannehill took on the mantle of leadership the Titans needed from their quarterback when he became their starter in Week 7 of 2019.

He followed up a recent Instagram post in support of Black Lives Matter with a strong, reasoned message in a Zoom press session Wednesday. It’s a stance teammate Rashaan Evans called “courageous,” and one I think will give Tannehill even more leadership juice in a room that was already very fond of him.Screen Shot 2020 06 10 at 4.07.28 PM

“Guys in the locker room are watching,” Evans said. “Situations like that bring guys closer and closer together.”

A white NFL quarterback being so comfortably outspoken on issues of race in the days following the murder of George Floyd amid protests asking for reforms is not something I think we’ve seen elsewhere, which makes it an especially impactful to teammates and the organization, and as a story. [Unlocked]

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Jurrell Casey's anger is understandable, but Titans were very good to him overall

Jurrell Casey's anger is understandable, but Titans were very good to him overall

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Jurrell Casey remains understandably upset from the jolting trade that sent him from the Titans to the Broncos for a seventh-round draft pick in March.

"Coming off an injury the year before and playing the whole season for ya'll, no complaints, I did everything you wanted me to do and you throw me like a piece of trash,” Casey said on the Double Coverage podcast, hosted by Jason and Devin McCourty, first brought to my attention by Turron Davenport. “At the end of the day, none of these businesses are loyal."

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Casey was an excellent player for the Titans for nine years. He delivered 51 sacks as an interior defensive lineman in a 4-3 or playing in a 3-4 while earning spots on five Pro Bowl teams. He was the franchise's Walter Payton Man of the Year in 2016 and 2018.

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Mail call: The Titans' best quarterback seasons

Mail call: The Titans' best quarterback seasons

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Happy weekend. May you get outside and spread your wings.

Thanks for the good questions.

This turned out to be a somewhat depressing exercise.

I absolutely rate Ryan Tannehill’s 2019 as the best quarterbacking season of the Titans’ era. Yes, it’s a different game than McNair was playing in his day, but we’ve hit again and again how only Sammy Baugh and Joe Montana has gone above 70 percent and 9 yards per attempt as Tannehill did with 70.3 percent and 9.6.

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McNair’s co-MVP in 2003 has to be second – 24 touchdowns and seven picks in 14 games, his best passer rating (100.4) by nearly 9 points and the second-best for the team by a passer with at least 175 attempts.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – While NFL coaches are cleared to return to their team facilities tomorrow, Mike Vrabel and his staff will wait until Monday to return to the Titans MetroCenter headquarters.

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Only the 49ers are not cleared by their local authorities to resume work at their offices, per Ian Rapoport.

Per an NFL memo obtained by PFT, coaches will count against the limit on team employees allowed to be at all team facilities, but that number is bumping up from 75 to 100. [Unlocked.]

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- My three biggest takeaways from Arthur Smith’s conversation with the media Wednesday…

1) The Titans won’t have a have a chance to overrate an offseason performance, something that doesn’t carry that much weight once more significant things begin to unfold.

But the media, and then the fans, get caught up in those offseason performances annually and so I am all for the side benefit of not having those to shoot down-slah-put in context.SmithFlame

“You kind of joke that there’s always the ‘King of Spring,’ sort to speak,” Smith said. “Then when the actual real football is played and guys are pressing you and jamming you, or there’s pads on, you’ve got to take on blocks or break tackles, it just looks different. It’s kind of a buildup. [Unlocked.]

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