Explaining how Tennessee Titans made 2021’s offseason a brilliant one

Jon Robinson, Tennessee Titans (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Jon Robinson, Tennessee Titans (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /
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Tennessee Titans
Tennessee Titans Bud Dupree Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

The Tennessee Titans make some calculated moves in free agency.

Instead of going beat-by-beat through all of the Tennessee Titans free agency moves, I am going to break down the free agents who are projected to be starters and who they will be replacing.

1. Bud Dupree replaces Jadeveon Clowney.

The biggest question was whether or not the Titans would wait for the draft to address the pass rusher or if they would write a big check to a free agent. They answered that question on the first day of free agency when they signed Bud Dupree to a big contract.

Dupree earned every penny of that deal though and he is 1 of 8 EDGEs with more than 19 sacks over the last two seasons. Clowney had 21.5 sacks in his last four seasons for comparison, so this is a massive upgrade.

2. Denico Autry replaces DaQuan Jones/Jack Crawford.

I’m not sure where Autry is going to play, but the common belief is that he will line up everywhere from 1-tech to 5-tech and his pass-rushing expertise is a massive upgrade over Jones and Crawford who were both solid players for the Titans.

3. Janoris Jenkins replaces Malcolm Butler.

This is tough because Butler was far and away the best defensive back on the Titans roster last season, but it is admittedly hard to separate how much of that was because he was playing well from the bar being so low thanks to the rest of the defense.

Both are very similar players and they fill different needs, but ultimately Jenkins was a cheaper option with better recent production.

4. Josh Reynolds replaces Corey Davis (but really Adam Humphries).

Spoiler alert, the Titans ended up trading for Julio Jones so Reynolds will most likely replace Adam Humphries as a slot specialist when the Titans use three receivers. There should be a big asterisk here though because Reynolds has the skills and experience to be a slot receiver, but he also has the tools to be a rotational/matchup player at the X and Z receiver spots.

Those were the clear starters brought in during the free agency process, so that set the stage for the 2021 NFL Draft. With four starters replaced and seven to go, the Titans needed a draft that provided more clarity.