The Tennessee Titans have a whopping 29 players set to become free agents this offseason.
The key players on that list are linebacker Jayon Brown, defensive lineman DaQuan Jones, wide receiver Corey Davis, defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, cornerback Desmond King, and tight end Jonnu Smith.
All are very talented players, but unfortunately, the NFL is a salary cap league, and you can’t keep everyone.
There will be some players they sacrifice to have cap space to re-sign others and bring in some outside free agents. Here is my hierarchy of must re-signs and guys who may or may not be retained.
DL DaQuan Jones; TE Jonnu Smith; TE Anthony Firkser; DB Desmond King
When healthy, tight end Jonnu Smith is one of the best tight ends in the league in the red zone and is an explosive player. His speed and size are a unique combination for a tight end that fits the scheme well.
However, Anthony Firkser is also here because he is a solid rotational piece behind Smith and great as a replacement for receiver Adam Humphries. Firkser made some excellent plays that went unnoticed throughout the season.
For the defense, DaQuan Jones really became a serviceable defensive lineman beside Jeffery Simmons. Jones could walk depending on how the Titans feel about Teair Tart, though.
Desmond King helped revamped a struggling Titans secondary when he joined the Titans and could help solidify the Titans’ slot position for next season.
Out of all these players, King should be the top priority for a team that struggled mightily on defense.
Some guys may or may not be re-signed by the Tennessee Titans. Some guys may demand too much money for the Titans to afford.
Others may lose their role to someone younger and better. I’ll list each wild card player and give my opinion on if the Titans will retain them.
WR COREY DAVIS
This one is popular. Many Titans fans want receiver Corey Davis to stick around after having a career year for the team. However, the career year may do the Titans no favors.
Davis’ market value is $9.9M per year, according to Spotrac, which wouldn’t be much if the team wasn’t paying nearly that much to Adam Humphries.
The Titans may entertain the idea of re-signing him but may eventually find that outbidding other teams for him may not be worth the hassle. Other wide receiver needy teams may be willing to pay a big buck for the emerging wide receiver.
EDGE JADEVEON CLOWNEY
Jadeveon Clowney was a failed experiment. However, the hype surrounding Clowney could have taken a hit because of it.
Clowney wanted nearly $20M last season and got a max value of $15M from the Titans. Now, Spotrac has Clowney’s market value at $6.8M.
The Titans could try their luck again with Clowney unless he wants way above his worth again this offseason. Clowney’s Pro Bowl past could garner him loads of attention in free agency, but if it doesn’t, the Titans could retain him on a cheap one-year deal.
However, I wouldn’t be shocked if they let him walk and tried their luck with someone else at edge rusher.
LB JAYON BROWN
Jayon Brown’s contract year started rough, but just as he began to heat up, he got hurt versus the Ravens and was placed on season-ending injured reserve.
Linebacker David Long Jr. stepped up and played well, showing he can be reliable in the run game.
Long (24) is younger than Jayon (25), making the Titans a year younger at the position. Not a huge difference, but it could play a factor in deciding whether to pay Brown.
Vrabel said countless times some variation of “David Long is a key part of our future.” I wouldn’t expect Brown back in a Titans uniform in 2021.
Other notable wild cards: Stephen Gostkowski, Ty Sambrailo, Jack Crawford, Will Compton, Kalif Raymond, and Khari Blasingame
It’s going to be an interesting offseason for the Tennessee Titans, who now need an offensive and defensive coordinator as well.
For sure, it is a pivotal one for Jon Robinson, who needs to avenge the disaster of the 2020 offseason.
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