Titans Wide Receiver Tajae Sharpe was a bit of an anomaly last season. After the draft, where does Sharpe fit on this roster?
Going into the 2017 season, the biggest hole on the Tennessee Titans roster was at wide receiver. There was no question that the position would be addressed either in the draft or free agency. The problem is what happens to the players that filled those roles last season when the position is addressed? As many of you know, the Titans drafted two highly touted wide receivers in the draft this year in Corey Davis and Taywan Taylor. This means that the guys doing the job last year may have to shift to make room for the new players. We already know that one of their more prolific receivers last year, Kendall Wright, has moved on to another team, but what will happen with Tajae Sharpe?
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As it seems right now, the odd man out is Sharpe out of the top three wide receiver positions. The top target at the wide out position last season was Rishard Matthews. With the productive season last year, Matthews will start the season as the number 1 receiver on the roster. This will be in an effort to temper the expectations for first round pick Davis. Davis will be the the second receiver, followed by Taylor. That leaves the fourth spot to Sharpe. What are the realistic options for Sharpe next season?
He is Cut
This is a very unrealistic option, but one that is actually possible. There was a recent report that Sharpe assaulted a man in Nashville. Our own Matias Wodner was on the story last week. At this point, there is no proof that Sharpe was involved in the incident, but if the former fifth round pick was involved in the incident he could be cut. The NFL is really cracking down on players that make mistakes in their personal lives. This is in an effort to make the league look better. If Sharpe did beat up the man, then the Titans will seriously consider cutting him. That is really the only option where he will get cut before the season starts. Sharpe surprised everyone last season and is on a team-friendly contract. There is no real reason to cut him otherwise.
Believe it or not, Sharpe may have some decent trade value. Generally, teams do not trade away young productive players, but if Sharpe has value the Titans should capitalize. After being drafted in the fifth round, he put up decent numbers in his rookie year. This could easily turn into a 4th or even 3rd round pick for a team that is looking for a steady presence at wide receiver. The NFL is not known for their blockbuster trades; therefore, this may be the most unlikely option for the young wide receiver. Sharpe also could potentially be dealt to improve the cornerback position. There has not been any buzz around trading Sharpe, but stranger things have happened.
The most realistic option is becoming the fourth wide receiver on the roster. Tennessee finally has a receiving corps that makes some waves going into next season. It is never a problem to have too much talent. Sharpe will certainly receive playing time in this role, but he will not be relied upon like he was last season. In fact, this may benefit the young receiver. He did a great job, but also was not spectacular. Playing a smaller role will help his development to become a better receiver.
There is also the chance that rookie Taywan Taylor is not ready to take over at the slot receiver position. That would go really well for Sharpe because he will get an opportunity to prove his worth and hold onto a starting spot. Sharpe is a nice fit in the slot, but lacks the speed that Taylor has.
Overall, having too much talent is a great problem for Mike Mularkey to deal with. He will certainly find a way to get all of his pieces touches. This makes for a fun year for Titans fans. If all of the weapons pan out the way the fans hope, the Titans will have the most fun offense they have had in years.