Following the signing of DT Bennie Logan, the Titans should consider adding another veteran talent with a team-first mentality to the defensive side of the ball: Connor Barwin.
It’s safe to say the Tennessee Titans put an end to “Jonathan Hankins Watch” after signing gap-plugging DT Bennie Logan on Sunday. The Titans liked Logan’s price and believe he will be a quality fit in the defensive line rotation.
There is another veteran defensive player on the market that could also be a perfect fit: DE Connor Barwin.
Barwin, who was a second round draft selection of the Houston Texans, has had a consistent career in terms of production. He had three productive seasons in the AFC South, but lost out on his sophomore season due to injury.
The Philadelphia Eagles swooped in and signed Barwin as a free agent in 2013. Barwin continued his high levels of production in Philly, racking up 14.5 sacks during his second season as an Eagle.
Barwin then chose to reunite with DC Wade Phillips in Los Angeles and was a contributor on defense with his tenacious style of play.
Now, Barwin is taking a free agent tour starting in Arizona. Should Jon Robinson consider adding Barwin?
Barwin is 31 and is going into his 10th season. Both Derrick Morgan and Brian Orakpo are headed into their 9th and 10th seasons, respectively. Why would the Titans add an older player to a position group they need to add youth to?
The answer is that it would be a productive fit. Barwin knows that wherever he signs, he will fulfill the role of a veteran. He can still yield quality snaps and can help develop younger defensive pass rushers the Titans will more than likely draft.
Barwin wrote a piece years ago for Sports Illustrated and cited HC Mike Vrabel with the following:
"“I’ll never forget what veteran fellow linebacker Mike Vrabel told me my rookie year, “You know you are on a good team when the vets are teaching the rookies how to take their jobs.” -Connor Barwin"
Barwin brought up this quote when discussing culture, the importance of developing a strong locker room, the impact of strong leadership and how the team gets better when the vets truly serve as mentors.
As a rotational guy, the addition of Barwin could allow for the Titans to select one high-quality EDGE rusher early and a developmental talent in the mid-rounds. Barwin has consistently proven that when he’s on the field, he will provide quality snaps and a relentless energy. As a team-first guy, he would mesh well with the locker room and overall roster.
A one-year deal would suffice, and it’s likely any team pursuing Barwin will only offer a one-year deal. Barwin can take his talents to Nashville and get an opportunity to play against the team that drafted him.