Hightower vs Eric Berry

Tennessee Titans fans have had Eric Berry Fever for a while now.

There was a great chance the All-Pro safety could test the free agent market if he and the Chiefs couldn’t come to an agreement for a long term deal. Now, it looks like the former Tennessee Vol All-American won’t get out of Kansas City.

Apparently the Chiefs found some extra cash. Regardless, this news has burst the Titan fans’ bubble two days before the Franchise Tag deadline. But, I’m here to tell you that Eric Berry shouldn’t be the Titans number one free agent target.

Titans: Go get Dont’a Hightower

While Berry would look good, and thrive in Dick LeBeau’s defense in Tennessee, Hightower should be the primary target.

Of course, the Titans have a desperate need at defensive back, but inside linebacker is a less discussed team need. Starters Avery Williamson and Wesley Woodyard are both in the last year of their contracts. 2016’s back ups Sean Spence and Nate Palmer both have expiring contracts. Woodyard has had three productive seasons in Tennessee, however he turns 31 this summer. Williamson (24) has shown his worth of being a centerpiece of the defense’s future after over-exceeding his fifth round pick expectations.

Hightower (26) would fit beautifully next to Williamson for the next half decade (at least). All the Alabama product, turned New England Patriot has done in his career is win. He’s a two time Super Bowl champion and a two time college football national champion. He’s also made game changing plays in the biggest of moments.

via GIPHY

Yes, Hightower would come at an expensive price. He would be worth it.

Don’t cry over missing out on Berry

He’s one of, if not THE best safety in the NFL. Still, it’s okay that the Titans won’t get a chance at signing Berry in free agency. Berry would most likely be more expensive than Hightower.

Lucky for the Titans and GM Jon Robinson, the draft gives the franchise two great possibilities to add a dynamic safety in the first round. The Titans can use their fifth overall pick on LSU safety Jamal Adams or Ohio State safety Malik Hooker. Adams is considered the more complete of the two prospects, but either would be able to anchor the Tennessee secondary, next to Kevin Byard, for the foreseeable future.

The crop of inside linebackers isn’t near as good after Alabama’s Rueben Foster. The quality of the defensive back draft could be as deep as fourth round.

Plus, a first round pick at safety would cost about half as much as Berry would cost. Tennessee might have $60-plus million in cap room now, but Marcus Mariota and Taylor Lewan will draw big bucks sooner rather than later.

So, Titans fans… As painful as it might be to see Eric Berry cash-in in Kansas City, don’t let it damper the offseason. While Adams or Hooker might not be Berry, adding one of them with Hightower will get this defense two steps closer to being elite.