Tennessee Titans Spending in Free Agency: Offensive Line
With the Tennessee Titans season over, it’s time to focus on how the team should spend its money in 2018 free agency.
The Tennessee Titans season came to an end in Foxborough one week ago. Having tasted both the sweetness of a postseason win and the bitterness of defeat, the Titans need to make some upgrades in order to surpass the divisional round.
ABC News recently released a list of their top 50 potential free agents. After re-signing some of their own core pieces, here are some players the Titans should throw their money at.
G Andrew Norwell
The interior offensive line struggled throughout the season, making it difficult for the running game to be as successful as it was in 2016.
If the Titans are willing to spend some cash on bulking up the interior offensive line, Carolina Panthers LG Andrew Norwell could be the perfect fit. His nasty streak would mesh well and his production would be an upgrade over both Quinton Spain and Josh Kline.
Norwell is bigger than both Spain and Kline. Coming out of Ohio State, Norwell was commended for his “backyard brawler” attitude, which helped him win a lot of battles in the trenches. He’s done a solid job in Carolina protecting and blocking for a mobile, dual-threat QB. Blocking for QB Marcus Mariota wouldn’t be foreign.
Norwell is considered by many to be one of the top offensive linemen garnering plenty of attention. Norwell is durable and hasn’t missed a game in the past two seasons. The Titans should check the price tag on Norwell, as he may be able to fix some interior offensive line woes.
C Ryan Jensen
Titans C Ben Jones had a tumultuous season. He was constantly bullied and had multiple erroneous snaps that landed near Mariota’s ankles. Whether or not he was playing hurt remains a mystery.
Baltimore Ravens C Ryan Jensen also likes to play nasty. He did a phenomenal job for the Ravens in the trenches this season. The injury bug bit both of their starting guards, leaving Jensen to shoulder the load of protecting the middle and adjusting the interior blocking assignments. Not many people could have been as productive as the anchor of an offensive line that was depleted by injuries.
If healthy, Jones is solid. It’s hard to say if he was or not. If he was indeed healthy and was making the kind of mistakes he was making, there could be a major problem. Jensen isn’t looking to leave Baltimore, but if the money is right, maybe he has second thoughts.
Spend to Fix Offensive LIne
The Titans offensive line has found their two bookend tackles, both through the draft process. However, hitting on an offensive lineman, especially investing a high round draft pick (Chance Warmack), is risky. Although spending on the wrong free agent is, too (Andy Levitre).
The Titans should definitely be competitive in the bidding wars for the services of both Norwell and Jensen. New York Giants G Justin Pugh could be another name to consider.
If the Titans can find a way to keep Spain and Kline on the roster for depth at the position after landing either or both of the free agents discussed above, it would be a free agency win.
Defenses in the AFC South will be challenging in 2018. Although the Titans compiled a 5-1 division record, next season will be different.
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The Titans offense cannot be what it was in 2017. The division likely won’t feature the Jacoby Brissett-, Tom Savage- or T.J. Yates-led squads. QB Andrew Luck will likely return and rookie sensation Deshaun Watson will aim to prove that his blazing start in Houston was not a fluke. Even QB Blake Bortles could manage to replicate his 2017 success.
For the Titans, Mariota has to play better. Shoring up the interior offensive line will ensure he stays upright. RB Derrick Henry will also be the featured back. Improving the interior offensive line could transform the slivers of space he had to work with into wider holes to hit.
Tennessee will likely be without starting RT Jack Conklin at the start of the season. Robinson has to know that the health of his franchise QB and ability to be successful running the football can’t be dependent solely on the play of LT Taylor Lewan.
The Titans offense as a whole will be much better if upgrades to the offensive line can be made.
Tennessee has to solve its offensive line woes, but it won’t be a cheap fix.