Several NFL teams made a move for a wide receiver on Tuesday ahead of the trade deadline.
The Tennessee Titans, however, were not one of those teams.
It’s been real DETROIT! I’ll love ya forever. Philly Philly let’s get it!!
— Golden Tate (@ShowtimeTate) October 30, 2018
The Philadelphia Eagles gave a third round pick to the Detroit Lions for Golden Tate. The Houston Texans traded a fourth round pick (and swapped seventh round picks) to the Denver Broncos for Demaryius Thomas.
Some fans might take the Titans’ inactivity at the trade deadline as a sign that the franchise is “giving up” on the 2018 season.
But I don’t think that’s the case at all.
The Titans engaged in trade discussions, so it’s not like they were sitting on their hands as the deadline approached on Tuesday. It’s just that general manager Jon Robinson didn’t think there was a deal on the table that was worth making for the Titans.
(For what it’s worth, I think a deal for Golden Tate would’ve been smart, simply for the ability to negotiate an extension with middle Tennessee native.)
Texans give up 4th round pick in 2019 and teams swap 7th round picks for Demaryius Thomas. New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles made offers and were close. Tennessee Titans came in late with offer. #9sports
— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) October 30, 2018
Tennessee isn’t “one player away”
Adding Golden Tate or another wide receiver likely wouldn’t have put the Titans over the top this season. Sure, Tennessee could get hot in the second half of the season and win the AFC South. It’s not like anyone is running away with the division. But the Titans aren’t making a deep playoff run this season. The addition of Tate wouldn’t change that.
Wide receivers, while important, don’t make up for poor quarterback play or ineffective offensive schemes. Great wide receivers also don’t automatically equal wins. Look at some of the league’s top wide receivers for example: Odell Beckham Jr, Jarvis Landry, Julio Jones, Mike Evans and TY Hilton are all on losing teams. Tate, until the trade on Tuesday, was on a losing team.
The Titans are still trying to figure out the direction of the franchise. They don’t even know if Marcus Mariota is the answer at quarterback or not.
Making a move in the middle of the 2018 season that might prevent the Titans from addressing needs after the season that are deemed necessary would be incredibly fruitless.
Perhaps Robinson is saving some draft picks in case a deal needs to be made in the offseason. Or maybe Robinson has a plan to aggressively pursue Tate in free agency next season.
All I know for certain is that a trade on Tuesday wouldn’t have changed (much) the trajectory of the Titans in 2018.
At this point, it’s all about 2019 and beyond. Whatever is going to happen in 2018 is going to happen regardless of what went (or didn’t) go down on Tuesday afternoon.
Featured image via Brian Spurlock/USA Today