In Jon Robinson’s first move as General Manager of the Tennessee Titans, he has decided to release 9-year veteran Michael Griffin.
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While many in the organization spoke highly of Griffin, with a big offseason for the Titans approaching, his $8+ million contract was just too much for Tennessee.
Don’t expect this to be it for the veteran safety though, after playing for nine years and through two Pro Bowls, I doubt that he will have trouble finding work even if it is as a third safety. I expect him to end up somewhere like Cincinnati, Kansas City or Oakland where they have free agents hitting the market, but they also have bigger needs elsewhere.
As for the Titans, they now sit at 5th in the NFL in terms of 2016 cap space according to OTC. I would imagine that some players like Eric Berry, Tashaun Gipson, Husain Abdullah, Eric Weddle, William Moore, or Reggie Nelson will appeal to the team now in the first (in Berry and Gipson’s case) and the second wave of free agency.
They could also take a long look at Jalen Ramsey in the upcoming draft. For those that don’t know the rundown on Ramsey is this. He is a dynamic safety that can play slot corner, boundary corner, field corner, free safety and strong safety as well as blitz from any level. So essentially if you need a physical presence that constantly gets his hands on the ball at anywhere but defensive line, he is your guy.
Not only that, but he has the speed and instincts to help immediately on special teams and give this team the edge there. He is rangy, and has shown that he is a team player after he switched from safety (where he was outstanding) to corner in his final year and again held his own very well.
At the next level, while he can be dynamic at any position, it is safety where he will excel. If you let him play that rangy Troy Polamalu role in Dick LeBeau’s defense he will be one of the leading candidates for defensive rookie of the year because of his ability to get to the quarterback, break up passes, make solid tackles, and take the ball away through fumbles or interceptions.
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Honestly, he is a great fit for the Titans even if they have to spend the first draft pick on him.
So, what all of this means is that it is essentially impossible for them not to find a safety in free agency or in the draft that will be able to come over and help this team. This was a cap move so don’t expect them to spend the same amount on another older player, but they could definitely make a splash this offseason at the safety position and I’ll leave it at that.