Did the Tennessee Titans just fill their need at safety?
It is the time for hot takes and overreactions and when the Tennessee Titans made their first signing of the free agency period it blew everyone away.
Well, alright when I say “blew everyone away” I mean because there was literally no chatter about adding former Jacksonville Jaguars safety Jonathan Cyprien to the roster.
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The buzz all day has been how the Jaguars are in a battle with the Tennessee Titans for A.J. Bouye. This news was closely followed by rumors about Dont’a Hightower, Brandon Williams, Brandin Cooks, etc.
So, when I saw the words “The Tennessee Titans to sign…” I wasn’t expecting to see Cyprien’s name.
Now that the shock has worn off a little bit, lets see exactly what the Tennessee Titans got.
I have my issues with how PFF grades the Tennessee Titans stud quarterback, Marcus Mariota. However, other than that I really appreciate their input on players. So, with that in mind, after franchise tags Cyprien was their 6th ranked available UFA.
That is a pretty huge deal. Josh Domski informed me that one reason why they may like him so much is how outstanding he is against the run.
That is definitely worth noting because the Tennessee Titans originally drafted Kevin Byard for his ability to play free safety in this defense. Now they have two safeties that can enforce the running game and one that can play the ball in the air.
“Doug’s Quick Take: Cyprien was never the expert in coverage I expected him to be when he came out of college, but he has indeed taken his field speed and become an outstanding run defender. He would excel in a system that helps him with his coverage issues while allowing him to do what he does best—take off like a missile against anyone with the ball in his hands.”
That take was from Doug Farrar, the lead scout after the detailed analysis (that you can find on that link above) from Mark Bullock.
He will just be 27 during the 2017 NFL season, which fits Jon Robinson’s history.
Does he affect the draft?
This is the big question to me for all of these players. Cyprien is a proven star against the run, but he leaves something to be desired as an all around safety. Depending on the contract length, money and what they say about him I believe this may take them out of the Jamal Adams race.
If Malik Hooker is there in a trade down scenario, then I believe they would still target a player like him. This would put Byard back to playing strong safety with Hooker at free safety and Cyprien would be the nickel LB/S player and a depth/special teams guy.
So his ceiling is a very high end, run-stopping strong safety with his floor being a backup that should be very good on special teams and in certain roles.
Initial grade: B