The NFL opt-out deadline passed at 3p.m. central time on Thursday, and some good news to report: No Tennessee Titans have opted-out of the 2020 season. Unfortunately for some of the Titans opponents, they can’t say the same.
Let’s take a look at each opponent on the Tennessee Titans’ schedule, and determine if their opt-outs are a big deal, small deal, or no deal.
RT Ja’Wuan James – BIG DEAL
Offensive tackle Ja’Waun James opting out is a huge loss for Denver. The tackle position was one of the big concern for Denver heading into 2020, so James opting out definitely doesn’t help. Tackle Elijah Wilkerson is expected to replace James. September 14th could be a big night for Harold Landry and the Titans defensive line.
DT Kyle Peko – NO DEAL
Kyle Peko is a reserve on the Broncos roster. He has been in the NFL since 2016, and has started zero games. This isn’t the Denver defensive tackle the Tennessee Titans need to be worrying about, anyways.
DT Al Woods – BIG DEAL
Al Woods, a former Titan, has been around the game for a long time and was signed this offseason by the Jaguars to help stop the run. This is a big loss for Jacksonville, but great news for Derrick Henry.
DB Rashaan Melvin – SMALL DEAL
Melvin was a veteran addition for the Jaguars. He signed a one year deal probably to provide depth, but he’s no slouch. He has started 64 games throughout his six year career. Jaguars lose a quality player here, which could be huge for someone like Corey Davis or Adam Humphries.
DE/LB Lerentee McCray – SMALL DEAL
Another depth piece for Jacksonville, as McCray has provided decent numbers for the Jaguars as a role player. Not a huge loss, but it’s one less guy Ryan Tannehill has to worry about.
DT Michael Pierce – BIG DEAL
Pierce was the Vikings’ biggest addition this offseason. Much like Al Woods on the Jaguars, Pierce was signed by Minnesota to help the Vikings stuff the run. So that is two consecutive weeks of big breaks for Derrick Henry.
DT Star Lotulelei – BIG DEAL
Lotulelei is one of the anchors of the Bills defensive line. He has been a consistent starter since 2018, and has been vital in the Bills’ ability to stuff the run. Another big break for Derrick Henry, tough loss for the Bills.
CB E.J. Gaines – SMALL DEAL
Gaines has been a consistent starter throughout his career, starting all but one with the Rams, all with the Bills, and two with Cleveland. His career has been plagued with injuries, he missed all of 2019 with a core muscle injury. A big depth piece for Buffalo, but a minor loss.
DT Eddie Vanderdoes – NO DEAL
He was expected to be a rotational piece for Houston this season. If anything, it depletes the depth a bit for the Texans, but relatively, this loss means nothing.
DT Josh Tupou – SMALL DEAL
Tupou was expected to be a key backup behind Geno Atkins and D.J. Reader on the Bengals defensive line. Derrick Henry and the Tennessee Titans’ offensive line still has to worry about Atkins, but the Bengals lose quality depth.
OT Isaiah Prince – NO DEAL
Prince was a 6th round pick by the Dolphins in 2018, and was signed off the waiver wire by Cincinnati in December. Not a huge loss.
DB Marvell Tell – BIG DEAL
Tell had a promising rookie season for the Colts, and was expected to make a serious push at starting cornerback opposite of Rock Ya-Sin. Although the Colts still have quality pieces in their secondary, losing Tell is big.
S Rolan Milligan – SMALL DEAL
Milligan was a good depth piece for Indy. He is a talented, young safety who appeared in 15 games and recorded 11 tackles last season. Not the biggest of losses, but still another loss to further deplete the Indy secondary.
LB Skai Moore – NO DEAL
Moore, who was a undrafted free agent signee back in 2018, wasn’t even a lock to make Indy’s roster. So at best, he would’ve been a rotational guy who played a couple snaps here and there.
OT Andre Smith – SMALL DEAL
He is the most experienced offensive lineman on the Ravens roster, with 11 seasons of NFL experience. He signed with the Ravens this past January, to give Lamar Jackson more protection and to have that veteran presence. I don’t anticipate this being great for Tennessee, but it is a decent blow for Baltimore.
WR De’Anthony Thomas – NO DEAL
He mainly played punt/kick return, so the Ravens special teams took a hit with this one. However, this loss isn’t significant on the big matchup between Tennessee and Baltimore in week eleven.
Offensive Linemen Malcolm Pridgeon, Colby Gossett, Drew Forbes, Drake Dorbeck – BIG DEAL
None of these guys would’ve been huge opt-outs if they were Cleveland’s only ones, but together, these opt-outs create a problem for Cleveland’s depth at offensive line. The Titans had five sacks on Baker Mayfield in 2019, so this is great for the Tennessee Titans.
DT Andrew Billings – SMALL DEAL
Billings has been a starter throughout his career, starting 37 out of 47 games played. This is another guy who could have potentially been a nightmare for Derrick Henry, and now he is off the worry list. Huge for Tennessee’s run game, but there is still Myles Garrett.
C Russell Bodine – SMALL DEAL
Bodine has been a starter throughout his entire five-year career, but was expected to be a backup on Detroits roster. Offensive line is important, and losing a guy with quality NFL experience is a blow for the Lions.
WR Geronimo Allison – SMALL DEAL
The Lions have two solid receivers in Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones, so the Titans’ secondary will still have their hands full. Allison is decent talent, so if anything, it just makes the Titans’ lives only a tad bit easier.
DT John Atkins – SMALL DEAL
Atkins seems to have been a rising player, of sorts. He played in 12 games and made 20 tackles last season with Detroit. That comes after only playing two in 2018. He is a solid rotational piece on the defensive line, and one less guy Derrick Henry and company has to game-plan for.
Green Bay Packers
WR Devin Funchess – NO DEAL
Funchess had a career year with Carolina in 2017, but hasn’t done much since then. He was probably expected compete for the starting receiver position opposite of three-time Pro Bowler Davante Adams, but Adams is the only receiver the Tennessee Titans need to be worried about on that roster, anyway.