Dolphins sign potential Titans free-agent target

The Tennessee Titans had previously held free-agent safety Marcus Maye on a visit. He signed with the Miami Dolphins on Monday evening.
Jacksonville Jaguars v New Orleans Saints
Jacksonville Jaguars v New Orleans Saints / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

The Tennessee Titans showed interest in former New York Jets and New Orleans Saints safety Marcus Maye earlier this offseason. General manager Ran Carthon hosted the versatile defensive back on an in-person visit in Nashville in March. Maye signed with the Miami Dolphins on Monday, and Jordan Schultz indicated he had offers from other teams. Could the Titans have been one of them?

There was a clear connection between Maye and the Titans. New defensive coordinator Dennard Wilson previously coached Maye for four seasons in East Rutherford with the Jets, first as his defensive backs coach (2017-18), then as his DB coach and passing game coordinator (2019-20). The former Florida Gators standout arguably played his best ball under Wilson, totaling career-highs in tackles (88) and passes defensed (11) during the 2020 season.

The Titans have seemingly been in the market this summer for a veteran safety to play opposite Amani Hooker. It’s been a need since they traded Kevin Byard to the Philadelphia Eagles in the middle of last season. Byard was replaced by a plethora of rotational players that included K'Von Wallace and Terrell Edmunds. Neither player was retained this offseason, leaving corner-turned-safety Elijah Molden, second-year undrafted free agent Matthew Jackson, Mike Brown, Shyheim Carter, and Keaton Ellis as the lone safeties on the roster besides Hooker. None of them are equipped to play an every-down role.

The Titans have also shown interest in former Denver Broncos safety Justin Simmons. With Maye signing in Miami, Simmons is the lone available safety that the Titans have been connected to acquiring this offseason. Perhaps Maye's decision to sign with the Dolphins will jump-start the market for the remaining veteran safeties.

The Titans will have a better idea of their roster needs after completing mandatory minicamp. It represented the first opportunity for new head coach Brian Callahan to evaluate all of the safeties on his roster. We'll see if Maye's decision to sign with the Dolphins will influence the Titans to revisit their interest in Simmons or another free-agent veteran safety.