The legal tampering period is fast approaching, and soon we can end the game of running with rumors and connecting marquee names to teams with loads of cash.
But while we still have some time before free agency begins, I wanted to jump into the action myself, but not nearly in the same capacity as some of the more…..extreme parties.
Yes, yes, I know you drama lovers certainly aren’t going to love the “boring”approach I’m taking here. I mean comes on, everyone wants updated news, and want to avoid the feeling of being left in the dark. However, I’m not here to hold your hand and give you news that your soul longs for.
However, it so happens that the Tennessee Titans are connected to a player that’s making this whole pre-free agency period seem like, well, chaos. No, I don’t have Tom Brady news, so let me shut that down right now.
BUT, I do have a general idea on which players the Titans should target once free agency begins.
So while you’re stuck with me for right now, how about I give you a special Titans free agency wish list, just to get you geared up for the final push towards free agency.
I’ll be addressing the 4 positions I believe are the biggest question marks on the team right now.
Will Jon Robinson decide to run it back with Tannehill under center?
Tannehill is hitting the open market after putting in not just a career year, but a historic year for the Titans in 2019.
With Tannehill turning 32 years old in July, he probably won’t have another chance to cash in as a free agent, so you can expect Tannehill to fight for as much money per year as possible.
It’ll be expensive to retain him, but I believe he’s the quarterback best suited for the Titans right now.
Realistic but Unlikely
It must be fun to use Tom Brady as a subject for all your time consuming jersey swaps, but here’s the thing, you’re just wasting your time.
I just can’t see Tom Brady playing anywhere else before he hangs up his cleats.
I just can’t.
You’re telling me he wants to New England oh so badly? The place where he’s played in NINE Super Bowls? The place where he’s won 6 rings? The place where he’ll continue to have a decent shot at playing in a couple more if he runs it back once again? You’re telling me he’s super motivated on leaving that place?
I don’t buy it.
Sure, there might be some underlying reason on why Brady potentially wants to suit up for another team.
But based on the news we’ve gotten so far, I just can’t see Brady leaving New England, I just can’t.
Clowney are one of the best available EDGE rushers in this 2020 free agency class. With his dominant ability to stop the run, and an improving arsenal as a pass rusher, giving big money to Clowney seems like a no brainer.
But when you combine the injury history, and sub-par production in 2019, the case to unload the Brinks truck for Clowney gets a little dicey.
Clowney has only played a full 16 game season ONCE in his entire career, and hasn’t hit double digit sacks in a season ever. He has come close though, with two seasons of at least 9 sacks in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
A lot can be made surrounding the price for Clowney’s services, which is reportedly “market setting“, so keep that in mind as free agency creeps closer.
If I’m in the shoes of Jon Robinson, thanks your lucky stars I’m not, I’d fork over the cash. A pass rushing duo of Harold Landry and Jadeveon Clowney would, on paper, ease some worries many have about the pass rush.
After signing a one year “prove it” deal with the Los Angeles Rams last offseason, Fowler is ready to cash in on his success in 2019, in which he put up the best statistical year of his entire career.
Let’s get this out the way first, signing Dante Fowler to any sort of long term deal is a gigantic risk. He didn’t really carve a consistent starting role until last season, and has only gotten more than 4 sacks in a year TWICE.
However, like plenty others in the league, Fowler brings an overall resume full of pedestrian numbers, but adds recent positive statistics and traits you can’t help but fall in love with. Plus, every team in the league will pounce at any opportunity to get an impact pass rusher.
That’s why anyone with a brain can see Fowler getting a respectable deal once free agency begins.
Golden would be an interesting fit in Tennessee, as his physical style compliments Harold Landry’s speed rush pretty well.
Last season was the first time Golden started all 16 games, he got his shot and he didn’t disappoint.
Golden finished the year with 10 sacks, the 2nd highest total of his career, only behind his 12.5 sacks in 2016.
This wouldn’t be the flashy, expensive signing that headlines your free agency class, it’ll fall something along the lines of a value deal.
Nagakoue was initially set to hit the market and receive a hefty raise, but the Jaguars decided to place the franchise tag on Ngakoue, locking him in until he’s inevitably traded from Jacksonville.
It’s highly unlikely the Jaguars ship Ngakoue off to a division rival, unless the Titans send an overwhelming offer that Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell simply can’t refuse.
Nobody in their right mind would expect Jon Robinson to even consider doing that sort of crazy business, so this’ll be counted as an extremely unlikely move.
Peters is a 16 year veteran that’s hitting the market after some very impressive years in Philadelphia.
I wrote last time in my mailbag, that if the Titans miss out on resigning Jack Conklin, plugging Peters in at right tackle would be a fairly impressive bridge move.
Peters is 38 though, so finding a future replacement in the draft would be an absolute must.
However, we’ll go down this road if Conklin ends up signing somewhere else.
How about a replacement from the Frozen Tundra?
Bulaga is expected to hit the market, and he’ll have plenty of suitors fighting for his services. With the Titans potentially looking at a hole at right tackle soon, Bulaga can be plugged in there and be expected to deliver high quality play.
Bulaga’s market value is projected to be much lower than Conklin’s, which I’m sure appeals greatly to Titans general manager Jon Robinson.
But just like the case with Peters, we’ll explore this road if Conklin decides to sign elsewhere.
Realistic, But Unlikely
Look, Conklin has been a key part of this Titans offensive line ever since he was drafted in 2016. He’s gone from being an All Pro in his rookie year, to struggling for 2 years after dealing with numerous injuries, then after the Titans declined Conklin’s 5th year option, Conklin put it back together again with an impressive 2019 year.
In hindsight, the Titans should’ve picked up Conklin’s option for $12M, because that looks small compared to the payday Conklin will receive once free agency begins.
For that reason, it’s hard to envision Conklin resigning with the Titans. Don’t get me wrong, I could still see Jon Robinson opening up the checkbook for Conklin, hell they could even decide to slap the franchise tag on Conklin. But with Derrick Henry and Ryan Tannehill both hitting the market, the Titans would be wise to consider only using the tag for those 2.
It’s still early, and anything can happen, but it’s just difficult to see Conklin playing for the Titans in 2020.
I think this is the likeliest “outside” free agent option the Titans will consider for slot corner.
Other options are either too expensive, or just won’t bring what Ryan brings to the table.
Ryan is way too important to this Titans defense, to the team in general, so it’d be foolish to not at least jump into negotiations.
Ryan won’t be cheap though, his 2019 season only drove his price tag up even higher.
Even if Ryan isn’t brought back, I only see the Titans finding Ryan’s replacement through either the draft, or internally.
We’ll have to see how this one plays out.
-Chris Harris Jr.
What a signing this would be huh?
No but seriously this has a very low chance of going down.
Harris’s price tag will be extremely expensive, and the Titans need to commit their time elsewhere.