Yesterday the Atlanta Falcons agreed to terms with ex-Tennessee Titans’ safety Chris Hope. Hope was originally drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the third round of the 2002 NFL Draft. After his stint with the Steelers he spent six years as a Titan until his contract expired this year and the Titans chose not to resign him.
It’s still a bit of a head scratcher as to why the Titans didn’t resign Hope. While Hope wouldn’t have started for the Titans, he could have been a very valuable back-up. Instead the Titans have an almost barren position. They have only four veterans on the roster, one of which is Robert Johnson who I would hardly consider a veteran due to his lack of playing time.
Michael Griffin and Jordan Babineaux are the starters for both the free and strong safety positions, respectively. Behind them, I would guess, is third year player Robert Johnson or perhaps another third year player, Al Afalava who has recorded much more playing time with teams such as the Colts and Bears. Then there are the two rookies Markelle Martin (6th round pick) and Christian Scott (UDFA).
That’s not too impressive. When I look at the roster here’s what I see:
1. Michael Griffin Jordan Babineaux
2. Markelle Martin Al Afalava
3. Robert Johnson Christian Scott
In other words, I see a pretty unstable group of untested safeties. This year is make or break for Robert Johnson and it seems to be headed more towards break, unfortunately.
Chris Hope would have added a little more stability to this position, even if it was just a one-year contract. The Titans have the potential to be a pretty special team this season and if one of our two starting safeties go down, we’ve got a big hole exposed.
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