Jurrell Casey was one of the best interior defenders in the entire NFL during his time with the Titans, and new Falcons defensive coordinator Dean Pees oversaw a lot of that success. Casey is no spring chicken for a defensive lineman, but he is looking like a steal for the Broncos after sending a seventh-round pick to Tennessee to acquire his services.
He made his fifth straight Pro Bowl in 2019, and it was more of the same in 2020 before he suffered a torn bicep and was done for the year. Casey isn’t the player he used to be, but his well-rounded ability, trade cost, relationship with Dean Pees, and a need for a starter next to Grady Jarrett could make him a very intriguing fit for the Falcons.
It’s worth noting that in an interview last summer, Casey didn’t hold any punches when talking about Titans management. He said they “discarded him like trash,” and I have to admit — trading him for a 7th round pick was kind of wild, big contract or no big contract.
There’s no telling if there’s bad blood there, but Arthur Smith was the offensive coordinator, and Dean Pees was retired when the move was made. When Pees was in Tennessee from 2018-2019, Casey notched 12 sacks, made 16 tackles for a loss, forced three fumbles, recovered three fumbles, and of course, made two straight Pro Bowls. Also, Casey ate opposing offensive linemen alive in the 2019 playoffs. Casey forced a fumble and a tackle for a loss to go along with his two and a half sacks.
There’s no telling what price tag Casey will have in a trade, but I don’t think his value has ever been lower. His contract is a little rich, but Atlanta should be able to fit in his $13 million cap hit — especially if the rumors are true that the salary cap will be higher than expected and the Broncos eat some salary.
Denver will undoubtedly be looking to shed some money, especially if Von Miller is released. The familiarity and success with Dean Pees is just icing on the cake. Casey can immediately slide into a three-technique role and draw double teams away from Grady Jarrett. He can also mentor any young defensive linemen the Falcons are sure to draft in April. This move just makes way too much sense, and if the price is right — Jurrell Casey and the Falcons could be a match made in heaven.
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