Should Tennessee Titans Target Core players in Free Agency?
By Les Bailey
Former Tennessee Titans general manager Ruston Webster wasn’t great at finding young talent in the draft, but I thought he did a nice job finding and signing free agents, especially last year and especially on the defensive side of the football.
Resigning Derrick Morgan, and picking up former Washington Redskin, Brian Orakpo while adding Da’Norris Searcy and Perrish Cox proved to be a winning combination that help this defense get in the top ten for a major portion of the season.
The one thing all of these players have in common, is they are experienced veterans and all could be the nucleus of core players this team, and any team in the National Football League needs to be successful.
While teams try to find these gems in the draft, young players have not developed enough to where you can tell they are core players that define the identity for a football team.
Of course, Marcus Mariota came to Music City with the mettle where we can tell he is going to be a core player for the team, and his maturity at this age is phenomenal.
You could consider Mariota and tight end, Delanie Walker as the core of the offense.
I would personally like to see some new blood through free agency this year that could add to the core of the offense, and bring some veteran leadership to that side of the ball.
The Titans had close to $25 Million in cap space at the end of the regular season, and everyone is expecting that number to increase when the new year begins on March 9th.
Areas where the Titans need to add core players are the running game, wide receivers and the offensive line. These are positions where an improvement is needed and those players can be found in free agency.
I know I probably sound like a broken record, but I love the contribution Matt Forte makes in Chicago. Here is a guy who, when he didn’t get a big deal, still came to work everyday and continued to put his best foot forward.
Forte will probably be resigned by the Bears, and would like to finish his career in the Windy City, but if he becomes available, the Titans should jump on him like dog on a June bug.
He is 30 years old, and near the end of his career, but could bring at least 2-3 years to a team that needs a leader in a backfield that is full of unproven youngsters.
He is a complete 3-down back who can catch a pass, and show the youngsters how to pick up a block and protect our franchise quarterback.
I agree with Delanie Walker when he said on the J-Mac show after the season was over, the Titans need a few proven veterans to works with Taylor Lewan and Chance Warmack to help them be better. The Titans do not need more rookies on the line, and now that we have former “Hog” Russ Grimm, let’s get him a couple of vets to work with.
Cordy Glenn will be expensive if he is allowed to hit the market, but the best Buffalo Bills tackle is the best the Bills have, and would be a great addition to this unit.
Glen is a left tackle and would put some pressure on Lewan, and maybe even push him to the right side, but at 26 years old, you can plug him in at left tackle and have some peace of mind that you have done the best job in protecting Marcus Mariota.
A testament to Glenn’s consistency that he was the highest-graded Bills offensive player in 2014, despite the poor play of his fellow linemen. Having been in the top-15 in pass-blocking efficiency each of the last three seasons, and starting every game.
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There is probably no way that the Kansas City Chiefs will part with safety Eric Berry, but if they expose him to free agency, the Titans need to run, not walk to get him in a Titans uniform for 2016.
To quote the folks at ProFootballFocus who have the former Vol ranked at 13 on their list of the top 20 free agents in 2016 and project that he is one of the top five safeties in football and maybe the best in pass coverage.
Berry is 27 years old, and has at least five years left in the tank if he can stay healthy and would bring solid leadership to a young football team.
Next: 2016 NFL Draft: Where the Titans Should Look
I don’t put as much importance on getting wide receivers through free agency, but if general manager Jon Robinson can convince Amy Adams Strunk to open her purse, Chicago Bears wide-out Alshon Jeffery would be a nice pick up and could provide some excitement on game days at Nissan Stadium.