Signing free agent Tyron Smith should be the Tennessee Titans top priority

Dallas Cowboys v Philadelphia Eagles
Dallas Cowboys v Philadelphia Eagles / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages

The Tennessee Titans and former Dallas Cowboys left tackle Tyron Smith are a match made in free-agent heaven.

Reports this morning say that Tyron Smith will be a free agent and that the Dallas Cowboys are moving on from the future Hall of Famer this offseason. This is a mild surprise, but there is a reason why he is hitting the market.

Despite only missing 4 games last year, Smith is at the point in his career where he can't hold up for a full 17-game season. It is going to be hard for anyone to commit to Smith to be their starter at left tackle and he is most suited for a role as a bridge starter.

If he is a bridge starter at left tackle, then why would the Tennessee Titans put him at the top of their free agent wish list ahead of clear starters at other positions?

Tyron Smith would be the first domino for the Tennessee Titans

Being a "bridge starter" usually has a negative connotation to it that suggests that a player might have declining skills, but that isn't the case with Smith. When he is on the field, he is a Pro Bowl (or better) talent who is still the gold standard as a pass-blocker. The only reason he won't get a massive deal in free agency is because teams are going into the season knowing that he isn't a solution to an issue at left tackle, he just gives a team more time to figure it out.

However, a player like that could be a dream come true for the Tennessee Titans.

The Titans have the 7th pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, and they have been very open about their interest in getting much better at the wide receiver position. Drafting a receiver with the 7th pick would give them a much-needed injection of talent at the position, but if they pass on Joe Alt and Olu Fashanu, who is going to start at left tackle in Week 1?

Signing Smith means that the Titans can confidently wait until the second round of the draft to take a tackle like Tyler Guyton, Kingsley Suamataia, or Patrick Paul. Instead of a situation where one of those guys has to be ready to start as soon as possible, they get to adapt to the NFL for months before being called into action. That process would be similar to what Will Levis went through before he became the Titans starter halfway through the season.

That rookie would get to spend an entire offseason/preseason watching Tyron Smith and seeing how a future Hall of Famer does things while being coached by Bill Callahan. Speaking of Callahan, the Tennessee Titans new OL coach has ties to Smith going back to the first three years of Smith's career.

Smith would obviously get the nod of approval from the coaching staff, so a potential signing would just come down to how much money Smith would want from the Tennessee Titans and whether they would be willing to give an older tackle that much money to start somewhere between 4 and 13 games this season.

Interestingly enough, the Tennessee Titans are an organization that should be very comfortable with this idea. Ran Carthon was the Director of Pro Personnel for the San Francisco 49ers when they traded for a 32-year-old Trent Williams.

In his 14-year career, do you know how many times Trent Williams played for an entire season without missing any games? Twice, and he had missed time for five straight seasons before the 49ers acquired him. None of that was a problem for the 49ers and I don't think that it would be something that scares the Tennessee Titans away either.

Putting all of that together, the Tennessee Titans have all of the ingredients to be the most aggressive team in the hunt for Tyron Smith. On the other side of this equation, Smith would get to walk into a situation where he reunites with the best coach he has ever worked with, and a big, tax-free contract.

A move like this might not seem massive, but it is the type of move that allows you to fix the offensive line while putting you in a position to draft an elite player with the 7th pick. If that is Joe Alt, great he can play right tackle or swing tackle like Taylor Lewan did during his rookie season until he had to take over the job vacated by an injured Michael Roos.

If that means Malik Nabers or Rome Odunze, that is great too because now you get to see future Hall of Famers (DeAndre Hopkins and Tyron Smith) mentor the first and second-round picks in the draft. It is truly a win-win, and the Titans can make it happen if they are aggressive with their offer.