Tennessee Titans give WR Calvin Ridley a blockbuster deal in free agency

Are the Tennessee Titans...back?
Jacksonville Jaguars v Tennessee Titans
Jacksonville Jaguars v Tennessee Titans / Justin Ford/GettyImages

Tennessee Titans GM Ran Carthon and HC Brian Callahan knew that they needed a blue-chip tackle or a wide receiver in free agency, and they got their guy in former Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Calvin Ridley.

It was believed to be a two-horse race for Calvin Ridley with the field narrowing to the New England Patriots and the Jacksonville Jaguars. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, it was announced that the Tennessee Titans would be signing Ridley to a whopping 4-year/$92 million deal.

Forget the price for a second (more on that in a minute), the most important thing is that the Tennessee Titans now have two legitimate stars at wide receiver with Ridley joining DeAndre Hopkins.

In his first year back from a suspension, Ridley played all 17 games and led the Jacksonville Jaguars in receiving yards by racking up 1,016 yards despite a rocky year from Trevor Lawrence and some pretty strange usage from Doug Pederson.

Matt Harmon demonstrated that in the tweet below:

So, we can clearly see that Calvin Ridley is good at football. The big question is whether or not you like the price tag associated with him. I would like to remind those people that the Tennessee Titans had more usable cap space than anyone else in the NFL when this deal was signed and they don't have any big-name players that need new deals any time soon.

With the cap rising rapidly, the Tennessee Titans are still expected to have $100 million in cap space available next season, even after this blockbuster deal. It is alright to overpay difference-makers on your roster when you have the money to do so, but I would argue that this shouldn't even be considered an overpay.

Ridley is getting $23 million AAV from the Titans, but Albert Breer is reporting that the Patriots had a deal on the table worth $22 million AAV and the Jaguars were offering him $20 million AAV. Clearly, his value around the league was higher than some NFL fans believe.

Tyler Rowland correctly noted that by the time teams start handing out extensions this summer, Ridley's deal won't even make him one of the top 15 highest-paid WRs in the NFL.

Now the Tennessee Titans have their starting WR tandem and Brian Callahan can reset the clock on the careers of Treylon Burks and Kyle Philips. If the coaching staff can develop them and see progress with the pressure off of them, great that would make life easier down the road. If not, then it won't put the franchise in a bad spot.

If the Titans can find a way to address the offensive tackle positions in the 2024 NFL Draft, Brian Callahan and company can start to seriously evaluate Will Levis and get an idea of just how good the young quarterback can be when he is given a fighting chance.

This is just one receiver and there is still work to do in free agency and in the draft, but this one move could be the first domino in a series of moves that leads to the Tennessee Titans rebuilding into a real threat to win the AFC South and more. It is hard to overstate just how crucial this move could be.