The Denver Broncos released Former Tennessee Titans’ Pro Bowler Jurrell Casey on Thursday afternoon.
Broncos released DT Jurrell Casey, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 25, 2021
Some fans want Casey back on the Titans. It would be quite a reunion considering he spent most of his career in Nashville.
The Titans drafted him in 2011, and he spent the next nine seasons there. Casey racked up 493 tackles and 51 sacks in that timespan. He made the Pro Bowl in five consecutive seasons (2015-2019).
His Tennessee Titans career came to an abrupt end when they shockingly traded him to the Denver Broncos in the 2020 offseason. The shocking part wasn’t that he got traded, but what the Titans got in return: a 7th round pick.
Here is why a Casey-Titans reunion isn’t likely to happen.
FROM THE TITANS PERSPECTIVE
There are two logical reasons why the Tennessee Titans pulled the trigger on a Casey trade.
One is to free some cap space. The Titans received so little for Casey because the Broncos took on Casey’s $12M cap hit. Freeing that cap space allowed the Titans to sign a guy like Jadeveon Clowney.
The other one is to make Jeffery Simmons the man officially. The Titans drafted Simmons in the 2019 draft and allowed him to recover from his torn ACL he suffered in college. He didn’t play for half of his rookie season.
They could wait because they had Casey. Once Simmons got healthy, they could afford to trade him, shed the cap space, and get production out of Simmons, who is younger and cheaper.
That said, it doesn’t make sense to revert to Casey when Simmons has given you no reason to do so. Casey is aging, injury-prone, and missed most of 2020 with a bicep tear.
FROM JURRELL CASEY’S PERSPECTIVE
Casey spent nine seasons in Tennessee. He toughed out the 2-14 and 3-13 days of the Tennessee Titans. He came right at the beginning of a rebuild, so he didn’t get to experience many playoff berths and any divisional titles.
Casey, in his prime, had the talent to go wherever he wanted if he chose to test the market. Teams needing a nasty defensive lineman would have pursued him.
Instead, he stuck it out with the Titans and stayed loyal. How did the Titans repay him?
By “throwing him like a piece of trash,” in Casey’s words.
#Broncos DL Jurrell Casey, who spent nine seasons in Tennessee and was named to the Pro Bowl five times, says the #Titans threw him away “like a piece of trash.”#Broncos are scheduled to play the #Titans in Week 1 on MNF. pic.twitter.com/iLknQXV0tU
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) June 8, 2020
Following the move, Casey said he was “confused and hurt.” His successful Titans career came to a bitter end, and it is possible he still has a terrible taste in his mouth when he thinks about the Titans.
Thinking of this in terms of my normal-guy non-millionaire life, I wouldn’t want to return if I left a company on bad terms. Even if I loved my co-workers and the customers, it would be awkward working under the same management that I feel did me dirty.
I am sure that is true in Casey’s situation, albeit it is with an NFL team. I bet the idea of returning to play with some of his former teammates and playing in front of the fans that cheered him on for nine years is riveting.
However, playing under the Tennessee Titans management that discarded you like a “piece of trash” after all you’ve done for them probably wouldn’t feel right for Casey. That makes a reunion very unlikely.
Featured image by Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports