If the Tennessee Titans can’t keep Jack Conklin, they should get some immediate return for him.
The war rages on Twitter between people who want to make sure that the Tennessee Titans keep Ryan Tannehill and those who want to lock up Derrick Henry.
However, it has never been an either or questions and as much as I like the idea of having long term flexibility with Derrick Henry, a long term deal wouldn’t be the end of the world if it was structured correctly.
In fact, what should the Titans do if they can find a way to keep both Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry without using the franchise tag? Well to me the answer is pretty clear: give the franchise tag to Jack Conklin.
As we have heard time and time again from Titans HC Mike Vrabel and GM Jon Robinson, when you have a good year it is hard to keep all of your free agents. People want them badly and you can double that interest if they are young and at a position of value.
The writing is on the wall that Jack Conklin is going to be the odd man out which was further supported today when Tony Pauline wrote this:
"The other is Jack Conklin, who’s also expected to sign a huge contract. The offensive line needy New York Jets are in hot pursuit of Conklin – I have confirmed that."
If there are several teams out there willing to pay Conklin big money, it is hard to see him playing under a franchise tag. However, if you could get him on a franchise tag it would be a great deal and likely would be less than what the market value would be for him.
With very little hope of re-signing him or getting him to play under the franchise tag, it seems like Conklin will be wearing new colors in 2020, but that doesn’t mean you have to let him walk for free.
Right now the Jets have two third round picks (68th and 79th overall) and money to burn. If they are so willing to sign Conklin to a big deal in free agency then make them prove that they want him the most by forcing them to give you a pick now.
If everything works out right and if the Tennessee Titans made the obvious cuts, they would end up:
-Having $66 million before re-signing Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry
-Also with four picks in the first three rounds (29th, 61st, 68th, and 93rd)
-Keeping him away from someone like the Houston Texans, L.A. Chargers or other AFC teams that might make the playoffs next year.
That seems better than losing him for nothing in free agency or at best a future 3rd round compensatory pick that is closer to pick 100 than pick 68.