Oct 13, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker (82) reacts in the first quarter against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Report: TE Delanie Walker hopes to return in 2021

Former Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker wants to play in 2021 after sitting out last season due to the COVID-19 pandemic and to recover from injuries, ESPN reported Wednesday.

Walker, who will be 37 in August, earned his third straight Pro Bowl selection in 2017 but appeared in only one game in 2018 and seven in 2019 due to multiple ankle injuries.

The Titans released Walker with a “failed physical” notation in March 2020.

Walker topped 800 receiving yards in four straight seasons with the Titans from 2014-17, setting career highs with 94 catches for 1,088 yards in 2015.

His career numbers include 504 receptions for 5,888 yards and 36 touchdowns in 183 games (100 starts) with the San Francisco 49ers (2006-12) and Titans (2013-19).

–Field Level Media

Oct 25, 2020; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Titans outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney (99) forces a fumble by Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool (11) during the first half at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Jadeveon Clowney free agency delayed by knee surgery

Dec 6, 2020; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins middle linebacker Kyle Van Noy (53) warms up prior to the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Jadeveon Clowney underwent knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus and the free agent defensive end won’t be medically cleared until April, NFL Network reported Tuesday.

Free agency begins March 17, although teams can negotiate with unrestricted free agents two days prior.

Clowney played eight games for the Tennessee Titans in 2020 before he landed on injured reserve.

The Titans lured Clowney to Nashville on a one-year deal worth $12.7 million — up to $15 million with incentives — although he was unsigned until Sept. 6.

Clowney said throughout free agency that he was taking his time in the process while discussing a deal with the Seattle Seahawks, Cleveland Browns and others.

Upon joining the Titans, he didn’t record a sack and made only a modest impact, considering the investment.

In seven NFL seasons, the former No. 1 pick (2014) has played in 83 games (74 starts) and notched 32 QB sacks.

A three-time Pro Bowl selection, Clowney spent his first five seasons with the Houston Texans and played for the Seattle Seahawks in 2019.

–Field Level Media

Dec 6, 2020; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Titans wide receiver Adam Humphries (10) before the game against the Cleveland Browns at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Titans release WR Adam Humphries

Feb 4, 2021; Tampa, FL, USA; NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith speaks during a press conference ahead of Super Bowl LV, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021 in Tampa, Fla. Mandatory Credit: Perry Knotts/Handout Photo via USA TODAY Sports

The Tennessee Titans waived wide receiver Adam Humphries on Thursday, a move that saves the team $4.5 million in cap space.

Humphries had two years left on a $36 million deal he signed with the Titans in 2019. His release leaves $5 million in dead money for this season.

Humphries, 27, played in just seven games (one start) in 2020. Lingering effects from a concussion suffered in Week 8 effectively ended a season that was also cut short with a stint on the reserve/COVID-19 list. He was put on injured reserve Dec. 8.

He had 23 receptions for 228 yards and two touchdowns, ending his tenure in Tennessee with 60 total catches.

He had 219 catches with nine touchdowns in four seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

–Field Level Media

Nov 8, 2020; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Titans offensive tackle Isaiah Wilson (79) warms up before the game against the Chicago Bears at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

OT Isaiah Wilson tweets he’s ‘done’ with Titans

Offensive tackle Isaiah Wilson’s brief tenure with the Tennessee Titans might be ending.

The 2020 first-round pick, the 29th overall selection, tweeted Monday, “Im (sic) done with football as a Titan… No further comments.”

The tweet was subsequently deleted.

Wilson’s playing time as a rookie consisted of four plays on Nov. 29 against the Indianapolis Colts, three on offense and one on special teams.

Wilson, 22, ran into trouble last year beginning in training camp. He got a trespass warning from police after he allegedly pondered jumping from a second-story balcony during a party near Tennessee State University on Aug. 15. He subsequently had two stays on the NFL’s reserve/COVID-19 list.

On Sept. 11, he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence after his car allegedly hit a concrete wall.

The Titans suspended Wilson for the Dec. 6 game against the Cleveland Browns for an unspecified violation of team rules. For the remainder of the season, Wilson was on the reserve/non-football illness list due to what the team termed personal issues.

Last week, Tennessee general manager Jon Robinson said of Wilson, “He’s going to have to make a determination if he wants to do everything necessary to play pro football, and that’s going to be on him. … We have a certain standard that we want players to prepare and perform at professionally and as people. A lot of work to be done there.”

Should the team release Wilson from the remainder of his four-season, $11.36 million contract, it would face a dead cap charge of $5.38 million, according to Spotrac.com.

–Field Level Media

Oct 18, 2020; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Titans offensive tackle Isaiah Wilson (79) during the game against the Houston Texans at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Titans’ GM: ’20 first-rounder Isaiah Wilson must decide if he’s playing

Isaiah Wilson’s football future is up in the air.

The 2020 first-round pick of the Tennessee Titans played only four snaps as a rookie, and general manager Jon Robinson said Tuesday that next season is no guarantee.

Wilson, an offensive lineman taken 29th overall, was charged with DUI in September before the season opener, had two stints on the reserve/COVID-19 list, and was suspended for violating team rules.

“We did a lot of work on him leading up to the evaluation process,” Robinson said. “The player that was here in the fall in Nashville was not the player we evaluated. He’s going to have to make a determination if he wants to play pro football. That’s on him.”

Robinson said the team hasn’t spoken to Wilson since he was placed on the non-football injury list in December.

A two-year starter at Georgia, Wilson was expected to be a starter at tackle. Jack Conklin left as a free agent last March.

Wilson signed a four-year deal worth $11.57 million with the Titans, including a signing bonus of $5.97 million.

But Wilson wasn’t the player the Titans thought they were getting based on Robinson and coach Mike Vrabel’s comments following the draft.

“He’s got excellent power to move the line of scrimmage in the run game, and he’s tough to get around in the pass game,” Robinson said April 23 following the selection in the first round. “I thought I saw some blocks at the highest level in the SEC where he gets up to level two, and he forces linebackers – if he gets his paws on him, they’re usually done for.”

And Vrabel said, “(Georgia coach) Kirby Smart couldn’t say enough great things about him. … I think he’ll fit in great.”

Robinson did say Tuesday that the team has had third-party contact with Wilson.

“We’ve tried to exhaust a lot of resources, trying to help him,” Robinson said. “But at the end of the day, he’s going to have to make a decision on if he wants to do things the way we want it done.”

–Field Level Media

Sep 15, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; A general view of the Titans logo inside Nissan Stadium prior to the game between the Tennessee Titans and the Indianapolis Colts. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Former Titans DT Josh Evans dies of cancer at 48

Former Houston Oilers and Tennessee Titans defensive tackle Josh Evans died after a year-long battle with cancer, the team announced Friday. He was 48.

Evans was a starter for the Titans in Super Bowl XXXIV. Evans played in 71 games (37 starts) for the Oilers and Titans from 1995-2001. He also played three seasons (23 games) for the New York Jets.

“I am so sad to hear that our Titans family lost Josh Evans today,” Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk said in a statement. “His fight against cancer was one of courage and strength and his teammates were by his side encouraging him throughout that fight. We will remember his big personality and even bigger smile. We send our condolences to his family and friends in this difficult time.”

Evans was diagnosed with kidney cancer in January 2020. He had been battling the disease at a cancer treatment center in Fayetteville, Ga.

He finished his career with 21.5 sacks, 14.5 of those with the Titans. Evans missed the 2000 season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

Evans started 10 games in the 1999 season and all four games in the postseason, including the Titans’ loss to the then-St. Louis Rams in the Super Bowl in Atlanta. He had five tackles in the 23-16 loss. He missed the first four games of that season following his first violation of the NFL’s substance-abuse policy.

The team honored Evans as the honorary 12th Titan in their Week 6 game against the Houston Texans on Oct. 18, 2020.

–Field Level Media

Jan 10, 2021; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Baltimore Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters (24) and his teammates stomp on the Titans logo after Peters intercepted the ball to seal their victory over Tennessee in Nashville. Mandatory Credit: George Walker/The Tennessean via USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Ravens CB Marcus Peters fined $15K for taunting

Baltimore Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters was fined $15,000 for taunting the Tennessee Titans after his game-clinching interception last Sunday, according to multiple reports.

Peters was fined for “physical actions directed at the Tennessee bench.”

After intercepting Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill to preserve Baltimore’s 20-13 victory in the AFC wild-card round, Peters went into celebratory mode and he and more than a dozen of his teammates went to Tennessee’s midfield logo and stomped on it. Peters then placed the ball on the logo and screamed at the Titans’ bench.

According to the NFL Network, Peters was the only Baltimore player fined.

The fine is the second in recent weeks for Peters. The three-time Pro Bowl selection was docked $12,500 for unsportsmanlike conduct last month for spitting in the direction of Cleveland Browns receiver Jarvis Landry.

Landry called Peters a “coward” after learning of the incident.

The Ravens visit the Buffalo Bills on Saturday in the divisional playoffs. Peters’ last visit to Buffalo was also costly.

After Baltimore recorded a 24-17 victory in December of 2019, Peters jumped into stands and drank a fan’s beer. The NFL later fined him $14,037 for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Peters, 28, had four interceptions in the regular season and has 31 in 91 career games with the Kansas City Chiefs (2015-17), Los Angeles Rams (2018-19) and Ravens (2019-20).

–Field Level Media

Dec 20, 2020; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) talks with Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Falcons offer HC job to Arthur Smith

Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith received a formal offer to become head coach of the Atlanta Falcons, according to multiple reports Friday.

Smith was a coveted candidate in the coaching cycle that began churning in early January. He received requests to interview for all seven vacancies, ESPN reported.

The Titans finished fourth in the NFL in scoring at 30.7 points per game and won the AFC South.

Smith has received praise for his work as offensive coordinator since he was promoted from tight ends coach two years ago. Current Titans head coach Mike Vrabel gives Smith credit for turning Ryan Tannehill’s career fortunes around last season, and the Titans just produced a 2,000-yard rusher in Derrick Henry.

The Falcons parted with Dan Quinn during the 2020 season and promoted Raheem Morris to interim head coach.

Myriad issues face the new braintrust of the Falcons, which will include a new general manager. Interviews for both positions took place unilaterally since the season ended.

Atlanta is squeezed against the salary cap by massive contracts for quarterback Matt Ryan and wide receiver Julio Jones. Owner Arthur Blank said he would not block an attempt by the new regime to trade one or both players in a rebuilding effort.

The Titans reportedly have been anticipating Smith’s departure by reaching out to prominent college offensive coordinators in recent days.

Smith has worked with the Titans in multiple capacities since 2011 under coaches Mike Munchak, Ken Whisenhunt, Mike Mularkey and Vrabel.

Smith worked closely with current Packers head coach Matt LaFleur with the Titans and during his initial NFL job, Smith was quality control coach of the Washington Football Team. Joe Gibbs was the head coach of the team in 2007, and Jim Zorn took over in 2008.

Smith, 38, attended the University of North Carolina to play basketball but his career was shortened because of a foot injury. He played offensive line in high school.

–Field Level Media

Jan 10, 2021; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Titans linebacker David Long Jr., (51) and cornerback Desmond King II (33) stop Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) during the Tennessee Titans game against the Baltimore Ravens. Mandatory Credit: George Walker/The Tennessean via USA TODAY Sports

Lamar Jackson rushes Ravens past Titans

Lamar Jackson rushed for a touchdown en route to recording his first NFL playoff win in the Baltimore Ravens’ 20-13 victory over the Tennessee Titans on Sunday in Nashville, Tenn.

Jackson completed 17 of 24 passes for 179 yards and rushed 16 times for 136 yards, including a 48-yard score with 2:32 left in the second quarter. His performance helped fifth-seeded Baltimore outgain fourth-seeded Tennessee, 401-209.

The victory propels the Ravens into the AFC semifinals next weekend, when they’ll visit either the top-seeded Kansas City Chiefs or second-seeded Buffalo Bills. That will depend on the result of Sunday night’s matchup between the sixth-seeded Cleveland Browns and third-seeded Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Titans failed to build on a 10-0 first quarter lead as their high-powered offense couldn’t crank up the running game. NFL rushing leader Derrick Henry, who authored the eighth 2,000-yard rushing season in league history, was held to 40 yards on 18 carries by a defense that used run blitzes liberally.

Tennessee initiated scoring with 5:39 left in the first quarter on Ryan Tannehill’s 10-yard pass to A.J. Brown. It upped the lead to 10-0 just under four minutes later, turning Malcolm Butler’s interception of Jackson into Stephen Gostkowski’s 45-yard field goal.

Baltimore got on the board with 10:02 remaining in the first half on Justin Tucker’s 33-yard field goal, then tied the score on Jackson’s electrifying third down touchdown scamper.

Rookie J.K. Dobbins gave the Ravens the lead for good on a 4-yard scoring run with 9:01 left in the third quarter, finishing off a 77-yard drive.

Gostkowski pulled the Titans within 17-13 by nailing a 25-yard field goal to start the fourth quarter, but Tucker increased the lead to seven on a 51-yard boot with 4:23 remaining.

Tennessee’s last chance to tie the game ended when Tannehill was intercepted by Marcus Peters on the first play after the two-minute warning.

Tannehill finished the game 18 of 26 for 165 yards. The Titans managed only 83 total yards after the first quarter.

–Field Level Media

Jan 3, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) runs with the ball during the fourth quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Rush offenses collide as Titans host Ravens

In a quarterback-driven league, Derrick Henry is unlikely to win Most Valuable Player.

But the Tennessee Titans’ running back is perhaps the most feared player out there, as the Baltimore Ravens found out on Nov. 22. His 29-yard touchdown run with 4:39 left in overtime gave Tennessee a 30-24 win in Baltimore.

The Ravens get a second date with Henry on Sunday when the teams meet in the first round of the AFC playoffs in Nashville, Tenn. And prideful veterans such as defensive end Calais Campbell know exactly what they’re facing.

“Derrick Henry is one of the best running backs to ever play this game,” Campbell said. “He’s in a zone right now. I take pride in the challenge of trying to slow him down.”

Hardly anyone has slowed him this year. Henry became the eighth back in NFL history to rush for more than 2,000 yards, finishing with 2,027 courtesy of a 250-yard performance last week in a 41-38 victory at Houston that clinched the Titans’ first AFC South title since 2008.

Henry’s historic season made Tennessee (11-5) the first team to boast two 2,000-yard rushers. Chris Johnson accomplished the feat in 2009, when he compiled 2,006 yards. The difference was that Johnson’s yards came in an 8-8 season in which the Titans started 0-5 and were out of the playoffs before Week 17.

Henry’s yardage enabled Tennessee to earn its first home playoff game since 2008. That game was also against the Ravens, who toppled the top-seeded Titans 13-10 to earn a spot in the AFC title game.

It was coach John Harbaugh’s first year in Baltimore, and it was a symbol of many of his 139 wins, which includes 10 in the playoffs: Tough, physical and uncompromising.

“It’s been a very physical, very tough rivalry over the years,” Harbaugh said, “and I don’t think too much has changed.”

The former AFC Central rivals have been a mirror image for most of the last 20 years, built on defense and the running game. But the Titans have pivoted somewhat from that mold this year, instead outscoring most teams with a top five offense and a bottom 10 defense.

Quarterback Ryan Tannehill enjoyed the best year of his career, throwing for 3,819 yards and 33 touchdowns with just seven interceptions. A.J. Brown collected 1,075 yards receiving and 11 touchdowns, while Corey Davis added 984 yards in the air.

Meanwhile, the Ravens (11-5) enter the playoffs with five wins in a row and the league’s top running attack at 191.9 yards per game. Their offense has found last year’s rhythm during the winning streak, racking up 37.2 points per game.

Baltimore blew out Cincinnati 38-3 in Week 17, rolling up a club-record 404 rushing yards and becoming just the fourth team to break the 400 mark in a game since 1950. Rookie J.K. Dobbins compiled a season-high 160 yards and two scores on just 13 carries.

Quarterback Lamar Jackson added 97 yards on the ground while throwing for 113 yards and three touchdowns, giving him a second straight 1,000-yard season rushing at 1,005.

Simply put, this game figures to be a fascinating contrast of rushing attacks.

“I expect a physical slugfest,” Tennessee guard Rodger Saffold said. “When it comes to the playoffs, we know that we need to earn everything. People know that we are a great running team, and they are going to give us their best shot every time.”

–Field Level Media