There is no doubt that the Tennessee Titans roster has improved from last season, but there is still a bit of a hole at the safety position. Johnathan Cyprien must live up to his contract.
It is always easy to nitpick when Tennessee Titans GM Jon Robinson has done so well this off-season. The Titans look a lot different than last year, but there are still a few flaws on the roster. One of the flaws is at the safety position. They just do not have the depth that is inspiring to fans. It would be a different story if Johnathan Cyprien plays well in 2018. Cyprien was injured for most of his first season with the team. That was not the way that the safety wanted to start his Titans career.
Cyprien signed a 4-year, $25 million contract with the Titans before the start of last season. He is guaranteed $9 million of that contract (per spotrac). What does that all mean? Basically, Cyprien will need to play well in 2018 or he has a chance to be cut at the end of the season with essentially no penalty against the cap.
What did Johnathan Cyprien do last season?
Cyprien had 38 tackles and only one pass defended during the 10 games he played in 2017. Those are the worst statistics of Cyprien’s career to this point. Injuries definitely played a factor in that, but the tackles and plays just weren’t there. One of the biggest draws of bringing Cyprien in last season was his ability to go inside the box and make tackles. If he is not going to do that in the Titans defense, then it’ll be difficult to keep him on the field.
Cyprien is essentially a linebacker in a safety’s body; meaning he has a nose for making tackles, but is not necessarily a rangy safety. He can make plays in the box, but do not expect a lot of interceptions or pass defenses from the former Jacksonville Jaguar. Being a one-dimensional player may not fit the mold that new coach Mike Vrabel is preaching. One-dimensional safeties need to do that one dimension really well in order to be counted on consistently.
Cyprien has the chance to be a quality player for the Tennessee Titans. His injury to start 2017 might have affected the rest of his season, but at the end of the day, the Titans need Cyprien to perform well or they may have to find a new player to man the strong safety position this season and going forward.