NASHVILLE — Mock draft and list season cannot be avoided forever. Now, the Tennessee Titans must figure out their 2020 plans.
But which of the team’s 22 unrestricted and restricted free agents deserve the highest priority. Hint: there’s an offensive trend.
No. 3: Derrick Henry (RB)
GM Jon Robinson’s roster decisions are myriad this offseason and should not be based on fan allegiance or marketing value. Henry earned both carrying the Titans to their first Conference Championship game in 17 years. Henry’s average of 14 catches per season, per John Glennon of The Athletic, still speaks to a glaring lack of versatility despite his obvious talents. Henry’s value to the franchise is as much about the goodwill Tennessee desperately needed to create new fans this postseason and the second-team All Pro provides legitimate star power that the Titans have lacked for so long. Henry’s contract will be a business decision, for a variety of reasons.
No. 2 Jack Conklin (RT)
The former first-round pick is unlikely to return to Nashville given the market for starting-level tackles. But Conklin’s rebound in 2019 from the injury-plagued campaign that saw him make only nine starts the year prior helped pave the way for January’s playoff push. Though it took the better part of a season for Tennessee’s offensive line to gel, big money at quarterback and running back make little sense without competent blocking in front of them.
No. 1: Ryan Tannehill (QB)
Reports began during the regular season that Tennessee wants to offer their 2019 savior an extension over the short-term solution of the franchise tag. Averaging out the annual salaries of the Top 10 highest paid quarterbacks gives you a sum of $27.2M. At that figure, Tannehill eats almost half of the team’s available cap space and regression seems imminent after the best stretch of performances in an eight-year career. The Titans have no better solutions at quarterback and chemistry with star receiver A.J. Brown is invaluable. The structure of Tannehill’s deal will determine the sustainability of Tennessee’s success.
Featured Image: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports.