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NFL Draft

3 Offensive Free Agents Titans Should Target

  • The Draft Network
  • February 24, 2021
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Off of consecutive playoff appearances, the Tennessee Titans find themselves in a familiar spot for many teams—good enough to make it, not good enough to climb over the edge. As such, they’re straining to extend an existing window with in-home extensions and good drafting. With only $2.3M in projected cap space for 2021, they’ll need to win with the same approach again.

The problem for Tennessee isn’t so much money, though. It’s the defense. The Titans couldn’t stop much of anyone during the 2020 season. They couldn’t find a pass rush, they couldn’t find multiple healthy starting cornerbacks, they couldn’t blitz effectively enough to solve their pass-rush problem, and on top of it all, they weren’t even that great at stopping the run. Depending on upcoming departures or releases for cap space, the Titans could have needs at basically every position besides safety on defense.

As such, I tried to go cheap when looking for offensive free agents, leaning on high-upside targets who have reasons for being discounted on the open market. The Titans will take a hit on offense this year, with the departure of offensive coordinator Arthur Smith—but with a little luck on the free agent market, they should be able to survive the blow.

Breshad Perriman, WR, New York Jets

The Titans may lose Corey Davis in free agency this year, which is worrisome news. Davis had his best season as a pro running next to A.J. Brown in 2020, and in his departure, the Titans would lose almost 100 targets and 1,000 yards. That’s no small task to replace.

That isn’t the end of the bad news. The Titans may also lose Kalif Raymond, another free agent wide receiver, who has been the primary field-stretcher for Tennessee on their deep play-action looks. As such, I’ll try to solve two problems with one free agent here and bring in Breshad Perriman, the field-stretcher from New York.

Perriman was a high-upside gamble for the Jets this past year, coming off of a productive season in Tampa Bay, and signed a one-year, $6 million deal. As has been the case in Perriman’s career, he was unable to stay healthy—but for the Titans’ limited cap space, he may come at a workable discount. Perriman has the size to work on the Titans’ typical intermediate-breaking routes along the sideline, and the speed to capitalize on one-on-one opportunities downfield. He’s a gamble, but a worthy one.

Trey Burton, TE, Indianapolis Colts

It’s no secret that the Titans are in danger of losing essentially their entire tight end room. Jonnu Smith, MyCole Pruitt, and Geoff Swaim are all rising unrestricted free agents; Anthony Firkser is a restricted free agent. At least Firkser, and likely another, will be able to return, but the Titans need more depth at tight end—a position critical to their approach on offense. 

The H-back player is important for pre-snap motion and split-zone action, as well as quick vertical routes on play-action pop passes. Trey Burton is a great player for that role. Always a good gadgety player who can be effective on handoffs and when split out wide, Burton bolstered the tight end room in Indianapolis while working besides bigger bodies like Jack Doyle and Mo Alie-Cox.

Burton is another health liability, as Perriman is—but again, we’re trying to get in under the cap and pour resources into the defense. If he’s healthy, he’s an important piece.

Jason Spriggs, OT, Chicago Bears

Speaking of gambles, the Titans seemed to have completely missed on their 2020 first-round pick in Isaiah Wilson, who didn’t see the field last year and seems determined not to play football for Tennessee any longer.

https://twitter.com/JeffRisdon/status/1364032501182832643

The Titans didn’t need Wilson to start last season—he was more so a long-term developmental project for them, as they have a passable starter in Dennis Kelly already manning the right side opposite Taylor Lewan. Kelly and Lewan are both under contract through at least 2022, so the Titans still have time to take swings on longshot gambles.

Jason Spriggs was a top-50 pick back in the 2016 draft for the Green Bay Packers but was never able to hold down the starting job and has struggled with NFL strength and power in his career. The Titans love playing a physical game up front, so Spriggs would need to play with more power than he’s shown in his career—but as an early-drafted athlete, the league will likely find a way to give him another chance. Tennessee is a good option.

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