Tennessee Titans sign the first new player of the Ran Carthon era

Tennessee Titans Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Tennessee Titans Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /

Championships aren’t won on the first day of free agency, but Tennessee Titans fans should know that it is a key part of building a successful team.

A team like the Chicago Bears can add stacks of free agents because they have been so bad for so long that they have mountains of cap space. However, most of the teams with a veteran quarterback or that have been in the playoffs recently, can’t afford to throw money around like that early in free agency.

As the Tennessee Titans are looking toward the future, it means letting good (but not great ) starters like Nate Davis take more money with a team like the Chicago Bears. However, no team goes through free agency without adding talent from outside the organization.

The fan base has their eyes on Ran Carthon and Mike Vrabel who are collaborating to build the best Tennessee Titans roster that they can, but the focus isn’t even entirely on “which” player they draft. Right now fans are more interested in what that move means for the direction of the franchise.

Are they putting duct tape over cracks in the wall? If so that points towards a full rebuild. Are they trying to take risks and give this team a jolt of energy at key positions? If so, then they are probably trying to stay competitive.

So, what does the Andre Dillard signing mean?

Tennessee Titans are starting out with a gamble

A few weeks ago I mentioned that there were two drills at the NFL Combine that were predictive of success in the NFL. One was the 3-cone drill for EDGEs and the other was the short-shuttle for offensive linemen.

Andre Dillard is one player on a very short list of players who have aced the test, but hasn’t gotten a chance to start since he was behind two Pro Bowl offensive tackles.

After signing a 3-year, $29 million deal it is safe to assume that he is going to get a chance to start for the Tennessee Titans, and that kind of deal makes me believe that the Titans are trying to stay competitive.

Considering the emphasis on the word versatility this offseason, I would imagine that Dillard will get a chance to earn a job at left tackle and at guard considering he has played both in his career.

Any lineman that stands at 6’5, 315 lb. with a 9.79 RAS score deserves a shot at left tackle first and then he can move around if the team needs him to, though that ambiguity doesn’t limit what the Tennessee Titans can do in the draft.

Considering that Paris Johnson has played tackle and guard in college, and that Peter Skoronski has a frame that will almost force him to play guard, the Tennessee Titans could still make a strong case for drafting either player at 11.

Even if the Titans go in a different direction, between Dillard, Dillon Radunz, and Jamarco Jones, the Tennessee Titans are going to have three veteran players on the roster with experience at guard and tackle in the NFL. At the very least that should mean that the Titans will be deeper at offensive tackle this season with young projected starters at left tackle (Dillard is 27) and at right tackle (Nicholas Petit-Frere is 23).

That means that whether you are pushing for a win now or building for a better team in 2024, the Tennessee Titans have made the right call as long as they can keep him healthy.