Phillips, 6-4, 277, was originally signed by the New York Jets as a rookie free agent in 2019, out of Tennessee. The Nashville native played in 29 games with eight starts for the Jets (2019-21) and has career totals of 68 tackles (44 solo), 2.5 sacks, 12 stops for loss and a pass defense. In 2019, Phillips snared a roster spot out of the preseason and played in 15 games with four starts. He recorded 42 tackles, including a team-leading 18 for loss (according to coaches stats) and finished tied for seventh in the league among all rookies to go with 1.5 sacks. In 2021, Phillips returned to action from a season-ending ankle injury that required surgery suffered at midseason in 2020 and finished with 15 tackles, one sack and two stops for loss.
Phillips was a four-year defensive lineman at Tennessee, who appeared in 41 games with 21 starts and recorded 114 total tackles, including 16 for loss, 8.0 sacks, nine passes defensed, one interception returned for a touchdown and one forced and recovered fumble during that time. As a senior (2018), he posted a career-best 56 tackles and finished ranked second on the team in sacks (5.0) and tackles for loss (eight) after appearing in all 12 games and added four passes defensed, one forced fumble, recovered fumble and one blocked kick. The three three-time Academic All-SEC selection was named a semifinalist for the second annual Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year Award following his senior year, presented to a Division I football player that demonstrates leadership, sportsmanship and integrity on and off the field.
The New Orleans Saints took the field for workouts during 2023 Training Camp presented by Rouses Markets on Monday, July 31.