The Tennessee Titans boosted their pass rush Thursday, adding Shaun Phillips on a two-year contract worth a maximum of $6 million. The veteran outside linebacker is coming off a 10-sack season with the Denver Broncos, during which he also had two forced fumbles, an interception and five pass deflections.
Phillips, of course, made his reputation over nine seasons with the San Diego Chargers, though his numbers dipped to just 13 sacks over his final two years with the franchise. As a situational pass rusher with Denver, he experienced something of a renaissance.
Phillips will likely occupy the same role with the Titans. Tennessee was mediocre at rushing the quarterback last season, ranking 21st in the league with 36 sacks last season. Phillips' age may be relatively advanced for the NFL, but he should give the Titans a much-needed boost.
Vince Wilfork restructures contract with Patriots
One of the biggest questions for the New England Patriots was how to handle Vince Wilfork. He was set to cost $11.6 million against the 2014 salary cap, and releasing the outsized defensive tackle would have saved the team $8 million. Instead, the two sides agreed to a restructured contract that will spread the cap hit out over three seasons. Richard Hill of Pats Pulpit broke down the impact:
In each of the past three seasons where the team heavily featured a 4-3 attack, the Patriots have dedicated four roster spots to the defensive tackle position. There was always some fluctuation with injuries moving the meter up to five, but four is the golden target.
If Wilfork and Kelly are guaranteed two of the spots, don't the odds favor a Hunger Game-esque tournament between Jones, Vellano, Siliga, and Armstead for the final two or three spots?
How much value is adding an additional early pick to the defensive tackle spot?
The return of Wilfork does change the game plan. He's not the long term solution. But he covers the now and pushes off the positional need for another season. Even if it sounds wrong.
Roddy White makes good on Tourney bet
Remember this from a couple weeks ago?
Well Duke lost, and Roddy White more than made good on his promise to Dylan Hoyt on Thursday. Check out the package of fun that White put together:
@DHoyt77 2 season tickets, 2 SB tix, pregame sideline passes to game and a day at camp as my guest. How does that sound— Roddy White (@roddywhiteTV) March 27, 2014
Now THAT'S keeping a promise.
Somewhat lost in the hoopla of Johnny Manziel's impressive pro day performance was the fact that his teammate, wide receiver Mike Evans, was just as impressive, if not more so depending on who you ask. Evans did not drop the ball, and didn't have any close calls outside of one bobble along the sideline. Manziel and Evans connected on perhaps their best play on the last rep of the workout.
Evans drew plenty of ooohs:
McShay: "I don't think Mike Evans is getting out of the top 10." certainly wouldn't surprise me.— Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) March 27, 2014
Mike Evans has the best hands I've seen since Calvin Johnson.— Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) March 27, 2014
Already got one text from a scout on site... "Umm, Mike Evans. Wow." ... Did the TAMU wideout upstage Johnny today?— P. Schrager (@PSchrags) March 27, 2014