Ever since the beginning of free agency last season we here at TitanSized have been discussing and campaigning for some how, some way to get Alshon Jeffery into a Titans uniform.
And to the naked eye, why wouldn’t we? He is blessed with rare size and speed, the make ups of a elite receiver in the NFL. Not only that; from time to time he has played at the level of the elite receivers in the NFL.
Then I put myself into Jon Robinson’s shoes and tried to think like the man thinks. He’s looking for tough, smart, accountable, team first football players. Jeffery for sure has two out of the four traits listed, as he’s a big physical football player, and if he wasn’t a smart football player he couldn’t have played at the level he has done in the past.
The traits I bring into question are his accountability and having a team first mentality. And the question I ask: is the talent and upside enough to bring in a player who falls short in half of those traits, especially considering the amount of money it will cost to bring him in?
The reason I bring his accountability into question is because he has been known to throw his quarterback (Jay Cutler) under the bus in the past. Even if he could be considered right, it shows division within the team and hurts the locker room. Even this year, it’s clear that he’s frustrated he isn’t getting more looks. You could also classify those things under a team first mentality.
The Bears will be playing the next four games without Jeffery because of a performance enhancing drug violation, hurting the team by leaving them without their two starting receivers. Now I don’t know the details of the violation. Maybe he went to the doctor and got a sinus cocktail shot (has steroids), or maybe he was purposely taking a banned substance. I don’t know, but either way he hurt his team, and has been hurting them all year.
If I’m the Titans I wouldn’t rush in and sign the guy to a long term contract, which he will be looking for this offseason. Although there is likely to be a bidding war on the guy when he hits the open market, the team may be able to coax him into a two year contract with the possibility of an extension, much like a first round draft pick has a 5th year option.
Although it likely wouldn’t work, a young team on the upswing surely has some negotiating power. I’m sure Jeffery would like to have Marcus Mariota throwing him the ball opposed to what he’s had, along with a running back, two other receivers (Kendall Wright & Rishard Matthews), and not to mention Mariota’s legs that defenses will have to account for.
With a contract like this, the Titans can’t lose. Either they get the elite, well behaved version of Jeffery or they get the one we’ve seen this year and we cut him with not much to lose. Although this is unlikely to happen because of the bidding war likely to happen, remember that no deal is better than a bad deal.