This trade leads to a franchise QB without the Tennessee Titans tanking
After this trade, the Tennessee Titans could walk into the draft and take a conservative (but still really smart) approach as I mentioned on the last page, but there are other ways that they could weaponize their new assets.
With that cap space and extra draft capital, could the Tennessee Titans be the team that ends up trading for DeAndre Hopkins?
The Titans could front-load a contract for him with the money that they save from Tannehill and Henry’s contract, and then when they draft a quarterback in 2024 that quarterback will have an offensive line in place and a dangerous collection of pass catchers to help him out.
Or again, Tennessee could have a deal in place with the Arizona Cardinals to move up and grab one of the top-3 quarterbacks.
Trading up for C.J. Stroud of Bryce Young is going to be a good idea regardless of what they have to give up, but trading up for someone like Richardson is easier to stomach if the Titans can add more top-100 picks in the 2023 and 2024 NFL Draft.
Keep in mind that the price tag to go up from 8th overall to 3rd overall likely costs a lot less than it does to move up from 11th to 3rd. We all know that it cost the San Francisco 49ers three first-round picks and a third-round pick to trade up for Trey Lance two years ago.
However, this deal might put the Tennessee Titans in a situation similar to where the New York Jets were before the 2018 NFL Draft. In that draft, the Jets traded up from 6th to 3rd and only had to give up a first-round pick (6th overall) and three second-round picks.
Splitting the difference, maybe a deal from 8th to 3rd would cost a 2023 first-round pick (8th overall) and a 2024 first-round pick. That would mean that even after the trade the Tennessee Titans would still have three top-100 picks in each of these classes.
Again, win-win trades don’t happen in the NFL and this is a pipe dream, but it is hard to imagine a deal that helps everyone involved more than this one. The Atlanta Falcons make the playoffs and Arthur Smith keeps his job.
If a trade went down with the Arizona Cardinals, they would get to trade down and still come away with one of the top-4 non-QBs in this draft whether that is Will Anderson Jr., Jalen Carter, Christian Gonzalez, or Tyree Wilson.
And the Tennessee Titans get incredible cap flexibility over the next few years to go along with the draft flexibility to go get their franchise QB now or to set up a rookie QB for success in 2024.