In free agency, the Tennessee Titans straddled the fence between aggressive and conservative, but the evident focus was rebuilding the offensive line. With Andre Dillard and Daniel Brunskill penciled in at left tackle and right guard respectively, Ran Carthon and Mike Vrabel did an excellent job of finding starters without paying for big-ticket players.
That is going to get a lot of attention leading up to the season, but a player that is being slept on is former Jacksonville Jaguars EDGE, Arden Key.
In his introductory press conference, Key talked about leaving the Jaguars because they wouldn't commit to making him a starter. Generally, you don't want to bring in a free agent that couldn't even start for his own team the previous season, but that was the Tennessee Titans' blueprint in free agency this offseason.
Whether you are talking about Dillard, Brunskill, Azeez Al-Shaair, or Sean Murphy-Bunting, the Titans seem to be betting that their situation is different than the ones that those players are leaving and that their coaches can get the most out of them in Tennessee.
For those that have been listening to the drumbeat of OTAs and minicamps, all of those players have stepped up to the plate and looked like guys worthy of starting. However, no one has made quite the noise Key has, literally and metaphorically.
Arden Key is becoming one of the voices of the Tennessee Titans defense
Turn on any interview or read any article about what people are seeing during these OTAs, and Arden Key is going to be mentioned.
Key seems poised to anchor the EDGE spot on the opposite or Harold Landry, who is returning from an ACL injury and living up to the billing. Not only is Key doing everything he needs to do to take advantage of the havoc that Landry and Jeffery Simmons have created together in the past, but he seems capable of winning his matchups without needing that advantage.
When he is winning the battle against offensive linemen, he is letting them hear about it. In a radio hit last week, Rhett Bryan, one of the voices of Titans Radio, said that Key and Simmons were the defenders that were barking the most during minicamp practices.
Looking at Ran Carthon's resume, his strongest tangible attribute by an overwhelming margin, is his ability to add quality starters and backups in free agency without breaking the bank. It is early, but if the Tennessee Titans can get Key to perform like this during the regular season, he will be an absolute steal for this franchise.
On passing downs, Key should be the fourth man on a defensive line with a Pro Bowl EDGE, an All-Pro DT, and Denico Autry who has had 7.5+ sacks in three straight seasons. Don't let the price tag fool you because while Key is only the 36th highest paid EDGE in the NFL by AAV, he could put up Pro Bowl numbers this season.