3 players that could surprisingly be free agent options for the Titans

After the Franchise Tag deadline passed, there are a few intriguing options.
Jacksonville Jaguars v Cleveland Browns
Jacksonville Jaguars v Cleveland Browns / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages

Titans fans can probably expect to hear a lot about their team over the next couple of weeks. When free agency officially begins on March 13th, only two teams – the Washington Commanders and the New England Patriots – will have more cap space to work with than the Titans. In theory, that's good news for a Tennessee team that's going to have to make more than few moves to reshape the roster in the image that new head coach Brian Callahan is looking for. They already have their apparent franchise quarterback in place with Will Levis, and DeAndre Hopkins' resurgent 2023 season lends some legitimacy to the hope that some of the major parts of the Titans' next major core are already in place. There's a Derrick Henry-sized question mark at running back, but Callahan will have plenty of opportunities – and cash – to make this his team quickly. And after the deadline to apply franchise tags passed on March 5th, there are more than a few options that would make a ton of sense in Nashville next season. Here are three.

Jaguars WR Calvin Ridley

The Tee Higgins dream probably died when the Bengals put the franchise tag on him. Maybe there's still a tag-and-trade scenario out there if the two sides can't agree to a longterm extension, but that feels unlikely at this point. There needs to be a Plan B, though, because the Titans' receiver production was bleak last year: after Hopkins, the next best pass catcher was Chigoziem Okonkwo, a tight end who caught 54 balls for 528 yards and one touchdown. Their next best wide receiver was Chris Moore, who didn't even get over 500 yards; Treylon Burks has only played two seasons and is still only 23, but the results have been underwhelming, to say the least. Enter Ridley, who's coming off a 100+ reception, 1000+ yard season in Jacksonville. He's two years younger than Hopkins, and would give Levis a second legitimate star wideout to help develop with. Hopkins, Ridley, and one of this year's best rookie WRs would be just about as talented group as any NFL team has.

Patriots T Michael Onwenu

Last year, the Titans' offensive line was rough. They ranked among the worst in both pass and run blocking on PFF, and ESPN's run block and pass block win rate stats weren't kind to them either. Only three teams allowed more sacks than the Titans (64) did, too. That's not going to fly anywhere, but certainly not for a team that wants to be as offensively explosive as the system Callahan's bringing in envisions. Enter Onwenu, who wasn't tagged by the Patriots and will now hit the open market. Onwenu's 2023 wasn't quite as good as we're used to seeing from him – after finishing as a Top-4 tackle (according to PFF) in both 2021 and 2022, but even his "down" season was still pretty good. Bringing in a reliable vet to help develop and play alongside Peter Skoronski would do wonders for the Titans.

Raiders RB Josh Jacobs

Moving on from Derrick Henry is going to sting, but at this point it makes sense for both sides: the Titans aren't going to be contenders in the immediate future, and Henry – who turned 30 in January – is in the final-piece-of-a-Super-Bowl-roster era of his career. Jacobs, though, is four years younger than Henry. And when he's been on the field for the Raiders, he's been productive. With so many big name running backs hitting the open market, Jacobs should come on a relatively team-friendly deal, too. If Tennessee can figure out their offensive line woes (and granted, that's a big if), getting Jacobs for the last 3-4 years of his prime would be a coup.


Next. The Tennessee Titans should absolutely overpay in free agency this offseason. The Tennessee Titans should absolutely overpay in free agency this offseason. dark