After nine seasons with the San Diego Chargers, Shaun Phillips wasn't retained and joined the Denver Broncos in 2013, eager to prove he could still produce off the edge. He did just that, finishing the season with 10 sacks (and two more in the playoffs), his most since 2010.
While Denver decided against bringing him back after signing DeMarcus Ware, Phillips turned his solid 2013 season into a contract with the Tennessee Titans, the team announced:
Moments ago, Shaun Phillips signed his new contract with the Titans! pic.twitter.com/3C4nEBaio2— Tennessee Titans (@TennesseeTitans) March 27, 2014
Fox Sports 1's initially Mike Garafolo had the report on Thursday:
Shaun Phillips agrees to a 2-year deal worth a max of $6 million with the Titans, source says.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 27, 2014
With Ware pairing with Von Miller off the edge for Denver, the Broncos didn't have a need to retain the 32-year-old Phillips. But the ability to get after the quarterback is a valuable skill to have in the NFL, and there was never any doubt that he would land with a team that needed to bolster its ability to get after the quarterback.
In the past two seasons, he has 19.5 sacks, 85 combined tackles, four forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and one interception. If he's running out of gas, he sure hasn't shown it. Keep in mind that Phillips has had nine or more sacks four times in his career, and two of those campaigns have come in the past two years.
He also passed along one of the most adorable moments of the offseason, shared with his son, after the Broncos lost the Super Bowl to the Seattle Seahawks in February:
Sorry we let you guys down. Messages like this is the I my thing that make me feel better. pic.twitter.com/e6FTuzw7LC— Shaun Phillips (@ShaunPhillips95) February 3, 2014
Nobody wants to lose a Super Bowl, but moments like that have to take the sting away a little bit.
The one worry is that he might wear down if given too heavy a workload, which Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com discusses:
Phillips signed a one-year deal on draft weekend last year and while the extra workload that came with all of the Broncos' injuries in the defensive front seemed to affect his play at times, he was one of best price/production signings in the league.
But yes, he was an excellent value then, and he's an excellent value now for the Titans, namely if he is used as a situational rusher more than a three-down player.
Phillips will now take his experience and ability to get to the passer to Tennessee, hoping to replicate the success he found in Denver and prove, once again, that he has plenty of good football left in his system.
Given how good he's been the last two seasons, you probably don't want to bet against him.