Because they traded away Jurrell Casey for a seventh-round pick, the Tennessee Titans can’t be finished with free agency.
When you trade one of your organization’s best-ever players for the NFL’s equivalent of a Chick-Fil-A gift card to clear cap space, you have to do something with that cap space.
To this point, the Titans haven’t done that. They need to.
The Titans have signed just three players in free agency, so far: backup tackle Ty Sambraillo, special teamer Nick Dzubnar and fallen-from-grace pass rusher Vic Beasley.
— Luke Worsham (@luke_worsham) March 18, 2020
Ordinarily, a smaller free-agent class like that would make sense for a team that was just in the AFC Championship game.
But when that team makes a splash trade to clear salary-cap space, they have to get something to show for it. Otherwise, the move is rendered pointless.
A lot of NFL general managers seem to, annually, be in the business of creating salary cap space simply for the sake of having it. They like having the financial flexibility merely to boast about having it, not to put it to good use.
Jon Robinson, the Titans’ GM, has never been that type of roster constructor. But if he fails to make a big addition in the wake of trading Casey, it would certainly seem that he fell into that trap.
Free agency shouldn’t be about trying to be the team that spends the most money to acquire the shiniest players with the biggest names.
It would be inexcusable, however, for the Titans to start their season with $20 million of cap space and without Casey.
Perhaps the Titans do have something in the works that has either been stalled by a negotiation standstill or complications in completing a physical because of the coronavirus.
Fans should hope that they do.
If they don’t, they will have traded Casey for nothing but a pick that will likely become a practice squad player.
Cover image: Christopher Hanewinckel & Jeremy Brevard/USA Today