As NFL free agency is officially set to begin on Tuesday, March 10th, the Tennessee Titans have their work cut out for them, to say the least, when free agency kicks off. The Titans can use the services of many of the free agents that are scheduled to hit the market on Tuesday, but who should the Titans really put their focus into?
Dec 21, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh (90) talks with umpire Bruce Stritesky (102) against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. The Lions defeated the Bears 20-14. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Many of the BIG names that were scheduled to hit the market have already found new homes or have re-signed with their respective teams. Based on social media a lot Titans’ fans were hoping to see the Titans make a big splash by pursuing the former Detroit Lions’ defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. Most NFL analysts didn’t foresee that happening, and based on a news release today it appears Suh is taking his talents to South Beach in exchange for a flashy $114 million with $60 million being guaranteed to play for the Miami Dolphins, according to league sources.
One player I was truly hoping to see the Tennessee Titans pursue was Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb, who was just re-signed by the Packers to a 4 year deal worth a reported $40 million. This truly was a no-brainer move by the Packers, but I have to admit I was hoping the Titans could swoop in and bring him to the Music City.
I would like to a break from the dreaming and “what if” scenarios though and take a look at who the Titans should be targeting and make a big run at come Tuesday morning.
1) Devin McCourty, FS, New England Patriots – signing the twin brother of current Titans player Jason McCourty should be a top priority. Bringing Devin down to Nashville from Foxboro would be a huge upgrade in our secondary, especially after letting Bernard Pollard go explore greener pastures. The Titans also let Alterraun Verner go last year to sign a big dollar deal in Tampa Bay, and we never filled his void. I think it’s important to bring in a Top 10 defensive secondary player to help the Titans improve and to bring his championship experience along with the knowledge he learned from quarterback Tom Brady and Coach Bill Belichick.
2) Greg Hardy, DE, Carolina Panthers – this is a no-brainer for the Titans. The Titans need an edge rusher and someone who can get to the opposing quarterback like Justin Bieber needs a wake up call. Hardy really got the shoddy end of the stick in Carolina. All NFL teams were put on red alert after the Ray Rice domestic abuse scandal, but Hardy had all charges dropped and was not found guilty. The Titans have the ability and flexibility to offer him a lucrative contract due to the $40+ million in cap space, and they can sweeten the deal by giving Hardy a chance to play with one of the best defensive masterminds the sport has ever seen in Dick LeBeau.
3) Jason Worilds, LB, Pittsburgh Steelers – I have a feeling this guy could be one of the top names on the Titans’ list of players to pursue aggressively. The Titans need an impact player at linebacker that can provide that middle of the field coverage but also be effective when a LB blitz is called. The biggest incentive we can offer Worilds is the obvious fact he could play with LeBeau once again.
4) Pernell McPhee, LB, Baltimore Ravens – he is quite possibly the most versatile defensive player in free agency. This 26 year old pocket disrupting beast of an athlete would immediately improve one of the biggest needs the Titans need to address. McPhee’s agent is surely going to have a lot phone calls looking for his services, but it would truly behoove the Titans to not make this guy a top tier priority.
5) CJ Spiller, RB, Buffalo Bills – the Titans went from having a Top 5 rushing offense a couple years ago highlighted by lightning fast runner Chris Johnson, who is now a free agent, again. The Titans thought it was a good idea to rely on veteran running back Shonn Greene and rookie runner Bishop Sankey with some Jackie Battle and Dexter McCluster sprinkled in last year which resulted them finishing 26th overall in rushing offense. Spiller is a runner who has rare speed, much like our CJ2K, who would give our running game some mojo that it’s missing. I expect Sankey to take a leap forward this year but I don’t want to see our running game consist of the same players last year.
I would be a really happy camper if the Titans all of the players above, but realize that is not going to happen realistically. If the Titans could sign 2 or 3 of these players it would make a big impact. We have to understand that the Titans are more than just a couple pieces away, but any addition will help the team move in the right direction.