Titans robbed the Colts of Denico Autry and Bud Dupree in massive gut punch

Colts DL Denico Autry (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Colts DL Denico Autry (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

The Indianapolis Colts were once again silent during the legal tampering period, as they’ve been ever since Chris Ballard took over as general manager.

Though we’ll wait and see what the mastermind’s approach is in the coming days, some fans could argue standing on the sidelines hurt the team on Monday.

Early it, it looked like the Tennessee Titans were getting gouged.

Tight end Jonnu Smith signed with the New England Patriots and Corey Davis left for the New York Jets. On top of that, they had released Malcolm Butler and Kenny Vaccaro. Jadeveon Clowney is also a free agent.

But then the division rivals struck.

They swiped defensive tackle Denico Autry from the Colts and then signed former Pittsburgh Steelers pass rusher Bud Dupree, who some posited could be a logical free agent target for Indy.

The Indianapolis Colts losing Denico Autry to the Titans stings.

Autry leaving wasn’t exactly a surprise, but the fact that he departed the first day he was allowed to AND went to the Titans certainly wasn’t expected.

Indy will now have to face him two times per year, which is concerning because he’s started to really hit his stride the last three years. He’s registered 20 sacks, 102 tackles (26 for loss) and 32 QB hits over his last 40 games.

He’s on the wrong side of 30, but he’s only signed to a three-year deal and will likely benefit from Dupree’s presence, just like he did with the Colts after they acquired DeForest Buckner.

Dupree, who suffered a torn ACL and missed the final five games of 2020, is another star who just hit his stride in recent years. Once considered to be a first-round bust, Dupree resurrected his career the last two seasons, logging 19.5 sacks, 99 tackles (24 for loss) and 32 QB hits in just 27 games. He helped form the most potent pass-rushing duo alongside TJ Watt.

The worst part about all of this is these two moves directly affected the Colts and improved Tennessee’s biggest weakness from last season, which was their lackluster defense. Though they lost key members on offense, they still have the trio of Ryan Tannehill, Derrick Henry and AJ Brown to work with, and now their front seven is worlds better than it was just a few months ago.

Time for the Colts to answer.