HomeTrade RumorsAndy Reid, Mac Jones, Chiefs, Patriots, and Titans in the AFC: A...

Andy Reid, Mac Jones, Chiefs, Patriots, and Titans in the AFC: A Recap

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Chiefs

Chiefs HC Andy Reid said he isn’t thinking about retirement at this point in time.

I haven’t even thought about that. I’m thinking about one thing,” Reid said, via PFT. “I figured that would come up when you guys were asking these questions because I’m old — but, not that old.

Patriots

After a season that saw him on and off the bench, Patriots QB Mac Jones still has plans to find success in his football career whether it is in New England or with another team.

“Obviously I have a lot of respect for the people in this locker room, and that’s where it starts,” Jones said, via Khari Thompson of Boston.com. “I feel like I let people down with my play. A lot of that stuff is in my control and some of it is not. So, I’m going to do everything I can for my next opportunity whether that’s here and really just push forward and continue to be Mac. That’s what it’s all about. Don’t let that waver.”

Titans

  • The Athletic’s Joe Rexrode and Dianna Russini report on how things deteriorated between the Titans and HC Mike Vrabel, with owner Amy Adams Strunk playing a lead role in the decision to move on. 
  • The two write Strunk considered firing Vrabel last year to make sure she had a head coach aligned with new GM Ran Carthon and the new vision she had for the Titans. But she held Vrabel in high regard and thought both men would be able to adapt to each other. 
  • Russini and Rexrode say Vrabel was hoping former Titans exec Ryan Cowden would be the new GM but he was never told by ownership that would be the case. Cowden left for a job with the Giants this past season. 
  • Per the Athletic, Vrabel and Strunk butted heads twice in a notable way during the search process last season that laid the groundwork for his dismissal this past week. The first was Vrabel saying he wanted full control over the roster and believed he’d earned that, while Strunk pointedly disagreed and said she was philosophically opposed to a head coach having all the power.
  • The second was Vrabel saying he didn’t think Carthon was ready to be a full-time GM and Tennessee should hire him as an assistant GM instead. Strunk was a big fan of Carthon after his interviews and did not take kindly to that suggestion, per the Athletic. 
  • Russini and Rexrode also confirm other reports that Strunk was offended by Vrabel’s comments during his induction into the Patriots’ Hall of Fame when he said to fans in New England: “I don’t want you to take this organization for granted. I’ve been a lot of places, this is a special place with great leadership, great fans, great direction, and great coaching. Enjoy it. It’s not like this everywhere.”
  • Asked by reporters when the Titans came back from their bye week if the comments were pointed at the organization, Vrabel said: “(The Patriots) have won six Super Bowls in 20 years, that’s what I was alluding to. I don’t know what to tell you. It’s just a lot of success. … The amount of success that they had there, the whole message was, just for myself and the former players and everything, just to not take things for granted.”
  • While Strunk and Vrabel never talked about the speech, it festered for the owner, per Russini and Rexrode. It also caused friction when Vrabel refused to address reports that he was unhappy internally with Strunk or Carthon, though Vrabel’s stance was that he didn’t need to respond to false reports. 
  • Russini reported in November that the Titans planned for Vrabel to be their coach long-term. She revisited that report and notes sources said it was true at the time and also intended as a message to Vrabel that the organization had his back. Strunk didn’t feel like that was reciprocated, however, and the tension grew worse from there. 
  • Russini and Rexrode note several members of the Titans’ staff believe the overtime loss to the Texans was the breaking point for Strunk and that’s when she made up her mind to fire Vrabel. They add it was all her decision, with no input from Carthon. 
  • Jason La Canfora of the Washington Post notes Strunk had a very high opinion of former Titans OC and Falcons HC Arthur Smith — and Smith is now available. 

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