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AFC South

AFC South: 4 bold predictions for the 2021 offseason

The AFC South is one of the more interesting divisions in the NFL right now. Last season, the Tennessee Titans finally won the division title and earned themselves the fourth seed in the playoffs. They’re aiming to reload and take another shot, as they’re likely to boost their pass-rushing on defense. They finished with just 19 total sacks, making them one of the worst in the league in that department.

As for the Indianapolis Colts, they have potentially found their next franchise quarterback after trading for Carson Wentz. He failed to meet expectations with the Philadelphia Eagles last year and has been given a second chance with the Colts. He’s reunited with Frank Reich, who was the offensive coordinator for the Eagles when they won the Super Bowl in 2018.

The Houston Texans have been all over the headlines recently due to their superstar quarterback, Deshaun Watson, demanding a trade. If they keep him, he even plans to sit out, which will cost him $3 million per game he misses. Eventually, one of these sides will give in, but it’s still unclear as to who that will be.

The Jacksonville Jaguars have consistently been one of the worst teams in the NFL for quite some time now. Outside of their deep playoff run back in 2017, this franchise hasn’t been able to be a major threat for quite some time. Now with a plethora of draft picks and the most cap space of any team in the NFL, the Jaguars aim to rebuild their roster from the ground up this offseason.

With each franchise having holes to fill, it’ll be interesting to see what happens this offseason. The Titans and Colts are the clear-cut favorites to make the playoffs in the AFC South, and each of them will be competing to win the division in 2021. Meanwhile, the Texans are in bad shape right now, and nobody really knows what this team plans to do to right the ship. As for the Jaguars, this will be an exciting offseason for the fans, as Jacksonville will be busy throughout. Here are four bold predictions for the AFC South this offseason.

Tennessee Titans bold AFC South prediction: sign JJ Watt

It’s no secret the Titans need help on the defensive side of the ball. Luckily for them, it’s not like their defense is in complete turmoil. With guys like Kevin Byard and Jeffery Simmons, Tennessee has two solid anchors to build around. Additionally, the only real weakness of this defense is the lack of pass-rushing.

With that said, look for this front office to be aggressive during the free agency period. They may re-sign Jadeveon Clowney. However, it’ll have to be a cheap deal due to his poor efforts last season. Either way, bringing over JJ Watt to the AFC South has to be near the top of the priority list for this franchise. He’s a bit on the older side, however, he provides consistency when he’s on the field which is something Tennessee hasn’t had in years.

Indianapolis Colts bold prediction: sign Kenny Golladay

After acquiring their new quarterback, the Colts should be focusing on signing some help for their new quarterback. Wentz is coming off the worst season of his career, and if they want him to turn things around, the front office has to give him some weapons to throw to. Michael Pittman might be a solid target, and Jonathan Taylor has the potential to dominate in the run game. But with TY Hilton possibly leaving, Wentz will need another target to succeed, at least in the AFC South.

This is where Kenny Golladay comes in. He could still re-sign with the Detroit Lions, but with Matthew Stafford now gone, he may choose to play elsewhere. The Colts are right there next to the Titans in terms of competitiveness, but they need help offensively to keep up. Signing Golladay would be a great way for this offense to put themselves over the top. He could potentially make Indianapolis’s offense one of the best in the league, as long as Wentz plays much better.

Houston Texans bold prediction: trade Deshaun Watson

The Texans are in a situation no franchise would want to be in. They have very little cap space, a small number of draft picks, and a superstar quarterback who is refusing to play for them. This franchise is currently in a rebuilding situation and is nearly in checkmate in terms of opportunity. Trading Deshaun Watson and starting anew is the best move Houston can make right now, as it will at least be able to get back the picks the team is missing.

There is plenty of interest for Watson, as it’s been reported other teams are leaving voicemails with their trade offers for the AFC South quarterback. It’s been speculated he’s worth three first-round picks, however, the Texans are likely to ask for some young players as well. Watson is a generational talent and is arguably the second-best quarterback in the league, with only Patrick Mahomes ahead of him. Houston should eventually pull the trigger as the NFL draft quickly approaches.

Jacksonville Jaguars bold AFC South prediction: sign Joe Thuney

This is going to be an exciting offseason for the Jaguars, as they’ve set themselves up for a major re-build. It’s nearly a forgone conclusion the front office will draft rookie phenom, Trevor Lawrence with the first pick overall. Besides that though, this team has plenty of holes to fill as well. With the most money available in cap space, this front office should be able to find some top-tier talent to go along with their rookie class.

Protecting Trevor Lawrence should be their top priority. The Jags already have a decent wide receiver group and James Robinson was a pleasant surprise last season. The front office could find a rookie offensive lineman in the draft, and they’re likely to re-sign left tackle Cam Robinson as well. With that said, signing Joe Thuney would only elevate Lawrence’s chances of success. Thuney is one of the best linemen in the league and would be a fantastic veteran leader for a young offense in the AFC South.