If you read the same March 6th Bleacher Report posting, and video from Jason Cole that I did, which spoke to the “Aggressive Nature” the Tennessee Titans were planning for the opening of the 2015 NFL Free Agency, you had to come away somewhat disappointed. I know I did.
Even as “NFL Free Agency Frenzy” began on the NFL Channel, and ESPN began their coverage an hour before the witching hour I was expecting a block-buster announcement from the Titans camp, and the biggest news out of Music City was the Retirement of Jake Locker.
Approximately $46 million of cap space, and more holes in the lineup than a block of swiss cheese, and the biggest story at the start of free agency Tuesday, was the retirement of a 26 year-old quarterback who was so dicouraged after five years in Nashville, he had lost his fire, and was ready to move on to the next stage of his life.
With big names like Ndamukong Suh, Darrell Revis, and DeMarco Murray on the trading block, you would have thought at least one big name would have been linked to the Tennessee Titans, if for any reason other than to bring some kind of excitement to a fan base starved for any good news.
There were no big announcements, but the Titans did fill a couple of holes on Tuesday, and we can all hope now that the Day One frenzy is over, some morsels of hope will come out of Music City on Wednesday.
Bear Goggles On
After releasing their Safety, Bernard Pollard on March 6th, you had to know the Titans were looking to fill a hole in the defensive backfield. That, Coupled with the feeling that they would stick with Michael Griffin in 2015, Da’Norris Searcy had to be good news.
Searcy became a starter in 2014 with the Buffalo Bills, and has emerged as good player that didn’t seem to fit with the Rex Ryan game-plans. He will make a nice piece of the puzzle in Dick LeBeau’s 3-4 defensive scheme, and should work well with Griffin, when he returns from all of his injuries.
The 26 year-old Safety was drafted in the fourth round by Buffalo in 2011, and started 13 games in 2014. He had a strong season with 65 tackles and a forced fumble. He emerged in 2013, starting seven games with 71 tackles, and recording 3.5 sacks.
With Julio Jones, and Roddy White in Atlanta, Harry Douglas was easily the third best receiver on the Falcons staff, and will give quarterback, Zach Mettenberger yet another much-needed target.
And as reported by ESPN Titans reporter, Paul Kaharsky, with 51 catches in 2014 for 556 yards and three touchdowns, becomes the Titans third best receiver.
Kuharsky also pointed out that Douglas wasn’t Jerry Rice, and is not the outside speed-burner the Titans need, but he is a lot better than most of the receivers now in Music City.
Douglass was drafted in the third round(84th overall) by the Falcons in 2008. He has 258 career catches for 3130 yards, and eight touchdowns. He played his college ball at Louisville.
There is an interesting story now surrounding OLB Derrick Morgan. Morgan, arguably, Tennessee’s best Outside Linebacker, was not re-signed before the free agency period, and has since made visits to Atlanta, and is scheduled to talk to the Buccaneers today.
This wasn’t a big deal, because everyone expected Dick LeBeau to go after his outside linebacker in Pittsburgh, Jason Worilds. Jason Worilds announced on Tuesday, he intends to retire.
At 27 years old, and like Jake Locker, has decided it’s time to move on. You can read Paul Kuharsky’s story at ESPN.
Washington Redskins Outside Linebacker, Brian Orakpo will be visiting Nashville today. He is now on the short list of quality players still available in the free agency pool, which is rapidly decreasing in size.
Orakpo is a quality player, who has been plagued with injuries, but indicated on a visit to NFL_AM that he had identified an error in his warm-up routine, and had been working to reduce his injury problems.
Brian Orakpo was drafted in the first round of the 2009 draft(13th overall) by the Skins, and played at the University of Texas. In his seven seasons at the Nations Capitol, Orakpo has amassed 254 tackles with six forced fumbles, and one interception.
He is a sack machine, with 40.0 in his career, and know how to get after the quarterback. Something the Titans sorely need from the position.
Cleveland Browns OLB, Jabaal Sheard is still available, but is reported to be heading to New England today, and has not planned a visit to Music City.
Most of the frenzied action over free agents happen in the first 24 hours. As time runs out, and we get to the week-end, most of the quality players will be picked over, and like the grocery store before a snow storm, late-comers are going to find the shelves empty.
Even though the Titans, and their staff had promised an active free agency period, it looks a lot like more of the SOS. Until the Titans hire a General Manager who has the internal fortitude for this job, I’m afraid we might be in for another long season in 2015.