There’s been a lot of speculation recently that the Tennessee Titans will make a move before the NFL trade deadline, which is at 3:00 PM CT on October 30.
The general consensus has been that Tennessee needs an upgrade at the wide receiver position to make a playoff push.
While this is probably an accurate assessment, I’m not sure it means the Titans should make a deal before the deadline.
Building for the future
The Titans aren’t winning the Super Bowl this year. It’s just not in the cards. A first year head coach, combined with multiple injuries, have the Titans looking, at best, like a fringe playoff a team.
Dealing for a wide receiver isn’t going to put Tennessee over the top.
The biggest reason, however, that I don’t think general manager Jon Robinson should make a deal is because I don’t think the Titans need to deal any assets just to (possibly) grab an extra win or two this season.
In order to land a potential impact wide receiver like DeSean Jackson, Devante Parker (though I’m skeptical of his ability to remain healthy), or Golden Tate, the Titans would have to give up a high draft pick.
The Dallas Cowboys kind of set the market for wide receiver value by giving up a first round draft pick for wide receiver Amari Cooper.
Dealing for Tate, who is a free agent after the season, or Jackson who is 31 and will be a free agent after the 2019 season, doesn’t seem like a smart move for the longterm success for the Titans.
The move the Titans should make
The Titans need to start making plans for next season. If they make the right moves, they could realistically be a threat to make a deep playoff run in 2019 and the years that follow.
But only if they make the right moves.
There are two specific moves I’d make if I were general manager Jon Robinson. I’d deal running back Derrick Henry and linebacker Brian Orakpo for some draft picks.
I doubt the Titans will get high draft picks for either player, but I’d still make the move.
In Henry’s case, it just doesn’t seem like he fits what the Titans are trying to do offensively. And honestly, he’s in his third season, he should be excelling by now.
There are plenty of teams out there, the Philadelphia Eagles and Oakland Raiders to name a couple, that could use a running back right now. The Eagles are in the middle of a division race, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they’d be willing to give up a mid-round draft pick to land Henry.
As for Orakpo, trading him is just the smart thing to do.
Harold Landry is making an impact off the edge for the Tennessee Titans. pic.twitter.com/hIMiT3adzh
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) October 25, 2018
At 32, and with Harold Landry on the roster, it seems unlikely that Tennessee will re-sign Orakpo after the season. It makes a lot of sense to deal the veteran pass rusher to a team in a division race that could use an edge rusher.
The Titans might as well get something out of Orakpo, instead of getting nothing when he leaves in free agency.
Patience is key
This might not be an exciting approach to the trade deadline for the Titans, but these moves (and non-moves) would set the Nashville based franchise up for longterm success.
The Titans can always pursue impact wide receivers in the off-season. Golden Tate is a free agent after the 2018 season and I think he’d be a good fit in Tennessee.
I just don’t think it’s wise to trade a first or second round pick for a player that probably won’t change the outcome of the 2018 season. Especially when the Titans can make him an offer in the off-season and not have to give up a high draft pick to sign him.
Featured image via Titans Online