On Tuesday, the Tennessee Titans and every other NFL team will have to cut their rosters down to 53-players. Some teams will have to make their decisions in waves because of the COVID-19 protocol, but most teams will have a pretty good idea of what their opening day lineup will look like after Tuesday afternoon.
The free-agent landscape is about to look a lot different, but before around 1,000 more players become available, let’s look one more time at the list of veteran free agents with big names that are still out there.
This tweet sums up the market pretty well and nearly every position is represented except for quarterback and tight end:
Right off the bat, this needs to be said. Tennessee Titans fans should have been impressed by what they saw from the cornerback and wide receiver groups, but they also have to know that this team is probably going to end up cutting at least one or two players that make it onto another team’s active roster by the end of this week. They could even set their sights on someone that can strengthen their depth chart as well.
K.J. Wright is a nice free-agent option for this Tennessee Titans roster.
At the bare minimum, K.J. Wright is a linebacker who can come in on third down and cover anyone between the hash marks. He plays well in man coverage or in zone coverage, and he could be insurance for Jayon Brown who has had trouble staying healthy for the last two seasons.
Rookie Monty Rice has flashed this preseason and there is no reason to think that he won’t compete for a starting job in 2022. David Long is criminally underutilized by this coaching staff. No one should be against either of those players getting time ahead of Rashaan Evans in 2021.
Having said that, K.J. Wright would be another coach on the field for the Titans and he can do everything whether that means blitzing, coverage, reading and reacting, making calls, whatever you need him to do he has done it and he has done it at the highest level.
There has to be a reason why he isn’t on a team right now though. He’s played at least 1,000 snaps in the last two seasons and if Mike Vrabel and Shane Bowen are really serious about fixing this defense, he would clearly make this defense better.
The offensive line is going to be a popular topic, but that group is pretty much gridlocked. Normally teams keep at least eight linemen and the Titans are going to keep at least eight and likely nine to start because of Ben Jones being on the COVID list. Here’s a list of the most likely candidates: Taylor Lewan, Rodger Saffold, Ben Jones, (COVID), Nate Davis, Kendall Lamm, Ty Sambrailo, Dillon Radunz, Aaron Brewer, David Quessenberry
Signing a running back is also a possibility, but no one on that list is a compelling name that fits in the Tennessee Titans locker room, so eyes shift over to defense where the Tennessee Titans just cut John Simon which suggests that they are pretty confident about their talent at EDGE. The final roster will probably include Harold Landry, Bud Dupree, Rashad Weaver, Ola Adeniyi, and Derick Roberson.
That’s where it gets interesting because the list is now narrowed down to off-ball linebackers, defensive linemen, and safeties. Tennessee’s defensive line is also a little thin, so it makes sense to look there.
It isn’t certain however that the Titans would be able to sign players that are skilled at something that someone already on this team doesn’t already provide. Kawann Short is the closest fit, as is Tre Boston, but Short has been injured for two straight seasons, and Boston could wind up being a bad fit schematically.