The trade that the Tennessee Titans made for veteran wide receiver Robert Woods proves that there is more than one way to approach the offseason.
Despite the anxiousness of the Titans’ fan base for the team to make a move, Jon Robinson has operated methodically and patiently during the free agency period – and to great effect.
The resigning of Harold Landry, Ben Jones, restructuring of a handful of contracts for the short and long-term benefit of the team, bringing in Austin Hooper and Robert Woods, as well as continuing to focus on continuity and development for role players has started to satisfy even the most critical Titans’ fans.
There was a collective sigh of relief in Nashville following the news of the Robert Woods trade and tweets of approval from AJ Brown.
The release of Julio Jones was slightly surprising given that the focus of the offseason was to re-equip the offense with weapons and depth.
Jones’ release was an unceremonious conclusion to the offensive disappointments of last season and was an acknowledgment of swing and a miss on a deal that is much like the Woods deal. While the thought process behind the trade for Julio and the trade for Woods are similar, there are some obvious differences.
Woods is younger, historically less injury-prone, and he comes at a substantially lower cost (a 2023 6th round pick) than Jones who the Titans traded a 2nd and 4th round draft pick.
This means that Robert Woods is likely to have a significantly higher return on investment than Jones for the Titans and the bar is pretty low given the season that Jones had.
Jon Robinson’s team building shows why the Tennessee Titans are the class of the AFC South
Overall, Tennessee Titans GM Jon Robinson avoided big splashes in free agency even though some appealing players were available.
However, sticking with his guns, Robinson has snagged a scheme fit, team-friendly contract, low-risk high-value guy in Woods. Frankly, I cannot think of a single player that fits the WR2 role in our system better than Robert Woods.
And for a sixth-round draft pick, to get a player who has averaged 5.4 yards per reception with the Rams over five years and hit the 85 reception mark in the three years before the last season even though he was on pace before his knee injury, this is a major improvement to the wide receiver group.
Most importantly, the Robert Woods signing highlights the stellar job that Jon Robinson and the Titans’ organization are doing in the offseason. Robinson avoided the early spending frenzy, let the dust settle, and filled needs in the roster to be in great shape heading into the draft.
The Jacksonville Jaguars and Indianapolis Colts are on either side of the spectrum of either aimlessly overpaying or sitting hesitantly waiting to pull the trigger on anything, while Jon Robinson has made the exact moves that the organization said they would so far.
The Jaguars have made some mind-boggling contract decisions to bring in new talent. While the aim has been to improve around Trevor Lawrence, the bloated contract of Christian Kirk seems more desperate than calculated.
Only time will tell, but there is a league-wide consensus that even if Kirk improves the Jacksonville offense, the Jags probably overpaid and locked themselves into a gamble.
On the other end of the spectrum, the Colts still do not have a clear answer at quarterback and that is inhibiting them from signing free agents to improve the offense from last season.
The Titans have hit the sweet spot and should feel very good about the moves they have made this last week and can look forward to the draft confidently.