The time has come, with the tampering period just a few short days away, to answer your questions regarding the Tennessee Titans and free agency.
This was a lot of fun last year, so we decided to bring it back. Thanks to everyone who submitted questions/topics on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Without further adieu, your questions.
Jeffrey Mullins on Facebook: Do the Titans go after a veteran receiver in free agency or draft one?
Judging by the fact that you began your question with “do” instead of “should,” I’m going to guess that you want a prediction as to what the Titans will actually do and not an explanation of what they should do. I’ll still give you both.
The Titans are almost certainly going to sign a veteran receiver in free agency. It may not necessarily be a big name or high-dollar guy, but it would be incredibly shocking if they don’t at least bring someone in.
After completely ignoring the position last offseason, the Titans can’t afford to go into 2019 with Marcus Mariota having the same weapons as he did this past season. Taywan Taylor and Tajaé Sharpe are both incredibly underwhelming, and while Corey Davis has shown flashes, he’s not a true WR1 quite yet.
The Titans need to, and likely will, nab a reliable veteran pass-catcher next week. There’s probably a pretty good chance, to answer the question you asked, that they double up and get another one in the draft.
Charley Harmon on Facebook: Will the Titans address the OL in free agency or the draft? Should they try and get an edge rusher in FA or the draft?
I’ll start with the second question because that’s the easiest to answer. Outside of Justin Houston, who hasn’t actually been released as of me writing this, this year’s class of edge rusher free agents is incredibly underwhelming.
As a result, non-premier players like Zadarius Smith and Preston Smith are going to be overpaid out of desperation. The Titans would be better off handling that position in the draft and leaning on a young group at that position.
Also, re-signing Derrick Morgan at a veteran minimum deal is not completely out of the question.
For the offensive line, I could see the Titans adding someone both next week and in late April when the draft rolls around. Josh Kline and Ben Jones have been underperforming for a while, now, and the Titans need to find replacements for them sooner rather than later.
The Titans would probably be wise to dip into the free agency pool of interior offensive lineman, which has some pretty strong names (Rodger Saffold and Matt Paradis, to name a couple). They would also probably be wise to get a rookie into the fold.
Yannick Martins on Instagram: Tyrell Williams or Golden Tate?
Tate. He’s clearly the better player and he probably won’t cost substantially more than Williams.
Tate would also give the Titans a lot of things that they need. He’s reliable, he knows how to get open, and, most importantly, he’s very good at picking up yards after the catch.
I’m traditionally a scrooge when it comes to free agency, but that’s one big-name Titans signing I would be good with.
Daniel Lee Lewis on Facebook: With no starting strong safety on the roster, are the Titans going to try and bring back either Kenny Vaccaro or Johnathan Cyprien back at a cheaper price or could we go after Landon Collins or Earl Thomas? Also, who would be the best fit as far as an edge rusher for the Titans in FA?
All signs point to the Titans re-signing Kenny Vaccaro. General manager Jon Robinson called him a “priority” at the combine last week, and cutting Johnathan Cyprien seemingly paves the way from a salary perspective.
There are a lot of talented safety options out there, and even though Landon Collins is a better player, they would be wise to stick with Vaccaro. He’s going to command a fair salary, and he’s already familiar with the defense.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
As for free agent edge rushers, the Titans better hope that the Chiefs do indeed let Justin Houston go. That would be the best option by a mile.
John Michael Presley on Facebook: Who’s a better fit for the Titans: Trey Flowers or Justin Houston
There are so many reasons why Houston is, at least to me, the clear answer to this question.
For starters, Houston is a better pass rusher and he will likely command less salary due to his age. While he hasn’t notched ten sacks since 2014 (when he had a whopping 22), Houston remains a productive player.
His skill set fits well with what the Titans like to do with their outside linebackers.
When it comes to Trey Flowers, I just don’t get the excitement surrounding him. His best season yielded 7.5 sacks, and people are saying he’s going to make $17M per year.
Jake Mackey on Instagram: What is the Titans’ top position of need for free agency and for the draft?
In free agency, the Titans’ biggest position of need is wide receiver. For reasons discussed earlier, they have to find someone at that position who knows what they’re doing. They also can’t afford to wait around while a rookie develops.
For the draft, I would say the Titans’ biggest need is the defensive front, whether that be an edge rusher or an interior defensive lineman. They could really use an influx of talent and pure bodies at those spots.
Michael Bishop on Facebook: With Jon Robinson’s previous draft history, it’s safe to say he may not stay at 19. Is Metcalf worth the trade up for possibly giving up future draft capital now that he’s estimated at getting picked as early as 2nd overall?
There is a 0% chance that the Titans end up with D.K. Metcalf. He’s going to be long gone before they have a prayer of being on the clock, and he doesn’t come close to fitting the mold of what Robinson likes at the receiver position.
You would be hard pressed to convince me that there is any player in this year’s draft class that the Titans should trade up for. If anything, they need to be trading down.
After trading up twice last year for Rashaan Evans and Harold Landry, respectively, the Titans ended up making just four picks. Only three of those four players actually made the team and remain there.
As a result, the Titans are in a dire need for cheap bodies, particularly in the defensive front. They can’t afford to give up any more picks, and this roster is not in a position where one specific rookie is going to make a substantial difference.
Colton Bell on Instagram: If the Buccaneers let Desean Jackson go, would you be a fan of the Titans bringing him in?
If DeSean Jackson were to hit the free agent market, he would become the Titans’ best option.
Even at age 32, Jackson is still a viable downfield threat. I got to watch him up close at Training Camp last year when the Buccaneers came to Nashville for joint practices with the Titans, and he looked really good. He was crisp, quick, and still blazing.
I remember talking to Kevin Byard after practice on one of those two days about how you would never be able to tell Jackson’s age just by watching him play.
So, yes, the Titans would be very wise to pounce on Jackson if he’s a free agent. Trading for him is a different issue, but he would be a good fit and fill a major hole.
Cover image via Eric Hartline & Christopher Hanewinckel/USA Today