Heading into the 2021 season, the weakness on the Tennessee Titans roster was the tight end position and it went even worse than fans predicted.
Before the season it looked like Anthony Firkser was in for a career year as a receiver, while Geoff Swaim and MyCole Pruitt would be asked to step up and replace what the team lost when Jonnu Smith left in free agency.
Unfortunately, Firkser had the worst season of his career and he lost out on tens of millions of dollars because of it. He will hit free agency with no buzz at all, and he will be joined by Swaim and Pruitt who are also going to be on the market this offseason.
Right now, the only tight ends under contract are Tommy Hudson, Austin Fort, and I believe that they still control the rights to Briley Moore.
With a blank slate at the tight end position, what are the Titans going to do?
Tennessee Titans options at tight end
The more you look at the tight end options this offseason, the more you realize that the Tennessee Titans are going to be on the right side of the supply/demand equation.
Bookmark this article as a reference because it is going to be hard to keep track of all their options. Using Dane Brugler’s top-100 ranking and the free agents who would be an upgrade for the Titans, I decided to make a list of nearly 20 tight end options that would make Tennessee better this offseason.
I will list the player’s name, their role in the offense, and a projected salary provided by Spotrac if they have one listed.
Free agency (in no order)
1. Zach Ertz (receiving threat) (projected $7.6 million AAV)
2. Rob Gronkowski (receiving threat) ($8.3 million AAV)
3. C.J. Uzomah (balanced) ($8.2 million AAV)
4. Gerald Everett (receiving threat)
5. Maxx Williams (blocker) ($6.6 million AAV)
6. Evan Engram (receiving threat) ($6.7 million AAV)
7. David Njoku (balanced) ($6.7 million AAV)
8. Dalton Schultz (balanced) ($12.6 million AAV)
9. Mike Gesicki (receiver) ($11 million AAV)
10. Tyler Conklin (receiver)
11. Mo Alie-Cox (balanced)
12. Lee Smith (blocker)
13. Hayden Hurst (balanced)
14. Blake Bell (blocker)
NFL Draft (from Dane Brugler’s top-100)
15. Trey McBride, Colorado State (projected 2nd round pick)
16. Jeremy Ruckert, Ohio State (projected 2nd round pick)
17. Isaiah Likely, Coastal Carolina (projected 3rd round pick)
18. Greg Dulcich, UCLA (projected 3rd round pick)
The Tennessee Titans can create as much cap space as almost anyone in the NFL, so it makes sense for them to target at least one of the free agent tight ends this offseason. Whether they go after one of the big names will be what determines whether or not Titans fans need to get more familiar with the draft prospects that Dane Brugler ranked in the top-100.
If they go after Dalton Schultz or David Njoku then you can probably count on the Titans waiting until middle or late Day 3 to draft a player at the position.
But if they go after a role player like Gerald Everett or Maxx Williams, then you might want to brush up on players on Day 2 that complement the free agent’s style of play.