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Report: Colts Free Agent DL Denico Autry Signs with Titans to a 3-Year, $21.5M Deal

Indianapolis Colts v Tennessee Titans Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Tennessee Titans are signing Indianapolis Colts free agent veteran defensive lineman Denico Autry to a 3-year, $21.5 million contract:

Per The Athletic’s Stephen Holder, the Colts attempted to match his Titans contract offer, but Autry elected to join Tennessee given a more favorable second year of the deal:

Arguably Colts general manager Chris Ballard’s most shrewd veteran free agent signing (with 20.0 career sacks for the Horseshoe), Autry has been an impact starting caliber defensive lineman for Indianapolis’ defense over the past three seasons—having initially come from the Oakland Raiders.

He converted from the three-technique (“3T”) defensive tackle spot to starting defensive end this past season—and made a smooth transition, recording 33 tackles (20 solo), 9 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks, and 35 total QB pressures during 14 games (13 starts).

However, set to turn 31 years old in July, while remaining a valuable member of the Colts defensive line, it’s arguable whether Autry’s best football is already behind him (and he’s more of a natural 3T, where All-Pro DeForest Buckner is firmly entrenched, than as a defensive end going forward).

The tough part is that Autry will be joining the reigning AFC South Champion Tennessee Titans, but the offseason isn’t over yet for the Colts to counter along the defensive line.

At defensive end, regardless of whether Autry was ultimately re-signed this offseason, the Colts needed an infusion of youth, speed, athleticism, and bend off the edge.

However, with Autry’s fresh departure, Ballard will need to find some defensive reinforcements in the trenches collectively—and with some added versatility would help.