The next two days are huge for the Tennessee Titans and Jon Robinson.
I don’t want to get into hyperbole, but for Jon Robinson and the Tennessee Titans the decisions made over the next two days are the culmination of every move since he was hired to be the GM.
With just a few weeks to prepare for free agency while also scrambling to assemble his front office and the coaching staff, Jon Robinson really didn’t have time to get a perfect assessment of everything wrong with the Tennessee Titans.
With a full year on the job, money in the bank, draft picks ahead, and a year to really examine exactly what is keeping the team from making the playoffs this is his first real attempt to make a playoff push.
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These decisions over the next two days could be the real barometers for how good of a GM Jon Robinson is.
Do they trade for Brandin Cooks?
The Tennessee Titans have been huge fans of team first guys who are willing blockers. That goes for any position, but really only limits them at wide receiver and tight end.
At wide receiver, they also emphasized route running and bigger frames which I am not 100% sure Cooks has. What he does have that they should love is speed, elite production, soft hands and the ability to beat man coverage when teams aren’t respecting him over the top.
Look at some tweets that really put into perspective how good Cooks is:
Those are excellent stats showing three different points.
Pro Football Reference is showing with statistical proof that Brandin Cooks is very sure handed which is amazing considering the other points on this list. Not only is he a big play waiting to happen, he is a reliable target which is hard to find.
Trey Wingo explains just how rare it is to have someone who makes big plays happen at that level of consistency. Any time you are in a category with Odell Beckham alone, you have done something spectacular.
Finally, Scott Barrett is does a great job showing how transcendent he is against “slower CBs”. He produced well enough against fast CBs, but he just demolished the slower ones.
Big money on big names
There are some huge names in this free agency class and people really don’t seem to recognize it. Alshon Jeffery, Calais Campbell, Dont’a Hightower, Stephon Gilmore, Dontari Poe, Logan Ryan, and Brandon Williams are all guys who could get some huge money to start for the Tennessee Titans.
Jon Robinson also has guys like Julius Peppers, Pierre Garcon, DeMarcus Ware, and Lawrence Timmons all could be big names that end up in Tennessee as rotational or role specific guys.
Will Jon Robinson open up the team’s wallet and use some of that money on outside players while he has guys like Marcus Mariota, Jack Conklin, Taylor Lewan and Kevin Byard for cheap?
BPA vs Need
The Tennessee Titans have three very clear needs this offseason: CB, WR, ILB.
However, there are big players like Calais Campbell, Brandon Williams, T.J. Lang, Jabaal Sheard, and Tony Jefferson who don’t fall into those categories. However, they would make this team much better based on where they would play and how well they would fit.
A quick note that shows us a lot will be how much he values getting talent on the team in free agency, versus if he sees free agency as a way to patch holes before adding major talent in the draft.
The huge looming need at OL.
I know, the offensive line is outstanding now but I bet you didn’t know this. Look at when these players are free agents:
Quinton Spain: 2018
Josh Kline: 2018
Dennis Kelly: 2018
Taylor Lewan: 2018 (with an option to push that to 2019)
That is 4 of the top 6 players on the Tennessee Titans offensive line that will be gone a year from now.
Does Jon Robinson make the move to extend some of these guys, do they go out and find a great young guard and have him compete with Josh Kline for the job in 2017 with eyes on the future?
I don’t know, but it is a problem that I can assure you he is aware of. Is he going to push that to late in the offseason and hope to work out extensions, or will he use all the money he has now?