The Tennessee Titans, a team that desperately needs a pass rush, missed out on top free agent J.J. Watt.
source: me. pic.twitter.com/1Y6okQBUy5
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) March 1, 2021
It was abruptly announced by J.J. Watt himself that he is signing with the Arizona Cardinals. They signed Watt to a sizeable two-year, $31M deal, with $23M guaranteed.
The #AZCardinals are giving JJ Watt a 2-year deal worth $31M with $23M guaranteed, source said.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 1, 2021
Judging off that number, it’s looking like the Titans dodged a bullet. $15M a year for J.J. Watt is a hefty price tag.
The encouraging news is that there are plenty of other guys on the market.
Note that most of these guys would require the Titans to free up a significant amount of cap space. So if Jon Robinson wants to go big, here are some good options.
GIANTS’ LEONARD WILLIAMS
The New York Giants seem very willing to re-sign Leonard Williams. Williams was their best pass-rusher and is still young and in his prime.
Williams’ grievance filed with the NFLPA seems to be holding up the negotiation process. If the grievance is accepted, it would cost the Giants more money ($21.4M instead of $19.4M) to tag him.
But it sounds like the Giants might be interested in keeping the 26-year-old regardless.
Williams had 11.5 sacks in 2020 and should garner interest from many teams, including the Tennessee Titans if he hits the market.
RAVENS’ MATT JUDON
Matt Judon would be a solid addition to the Tennessee Titans. He is 28 and had six sacks in 2020.
The Ravens require outside linebacker help, so Judon may opt to re-sign with Baltimore if the money is right. His market value is at $15.6M annually, according to Spotrac.com.
He’s gone on record of calling the Titans ‘babies,’ so his interest level in Tennessee remains to be seen.
STEELERS’ BUD DUPREE
Pittsburgh Steelers free agent Bud Dupree is another name you may hear a lot in the coming weeks.
Dupree had eight sacks in 2020, and his best season in sacks was in 2019, when he had 11.5
Dupree created a little buzz when he was tagged in a post saying Tennessee Titans fans wanted to sign him.
— Big Bud (@Bud_Dupree) February 24, 2021
Dupree was apart of that stifling Steelers defense, which ranked third overall and first in sacks with 56. His market value sits at $18.2M, though, so his price may be a bit steep.
LIONS’ ROMEO OKWARA
Romeo Okwara is a more quiet name on the market. He is a solid player in Detroit that proved his ability to get to the quarterback in 2020, recording ten sacks.
Okwara has a cheaper market value of $10.1M. It seems like the Lions are interested in keeping him around, so Okwara may never hit the market due to a contract agreement or a franchise tag.
However, if he does hit the market, the Tennessee Titans could consider him instead of the more expensive guys on the market.
CARDINALS’ HAASON REDDICK
Earlier in the offseason, the Arizona Cardinals expressed their desire to keep Haason Reddick around. Now that they’ve signed J.J. Watt, they may let Reddick walk.
Reddick had a rocky start to his Cardinals tenure but broke out in 2020 as a pass rusher garnering 12.5 sacks.
The Cardinals have around $11.5M in cap space, according to Over the Cap. Reddick’s market value is at $11.6M annually.
Any one of these guys would be a significant addition to the Tennessee Titans. Keep an eye out on these names before the new league year begins. If they hit the market, Jon Robinson should be calling their agents.
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