The Tennessee Titans should absolutely overpay in free agency this offseason

Indianapolis Colts v Tennessee Titans
Indianapolis Colts v Tennessee Titans / Wesley Hitt/GettyImages

This offseason is going to be a franchise-defining offseason for the Tennessee Titans, and so far they have nailed it.

So far the team has stepped into the 21st century by hiring the most qualified offensive-minded coach available in Brian Callahan, bringing in Dennard Wilson (the most sought-after DC candidate in the NFL) to be the defensive coordinator, and hiring the best offensive line coach in the NFL in Bill Callahan.

Now that the coaches are in place, it is up to the front office to bring in players that fit what those coaches are looking for. The first test for this front office is going to be free agency, but it shouldn't be a hard test.

If/When the Titans cut Andre Dillard, they will have more cap space than any other team in the NFL. Armed with all of that cap space, there is no excuse for why the Tennessee Titans shouldn't be aggressive in free agency.

Despite having nearly $100 million in cap space, there are people out there who condemn free agency entirely. The constant cries of, "You can't overspend in free agency." or "You have to build a roster through the draft and you just can't pay free agents.", should grate on your nerves like nails on a chalkboard.

It is the stance of people who don't understand the purpose and the benefits of free agency. One of the worst examples of this happened last week on 102.5 on "Caroline, Willy & DMase", and you can go listen in the link below if you would like.

If you don't want to listen to that for an hour, what it boils down to is Caroline Fenton tries to explain how to use free agency and then Willy Daunic and Derrick Mason spout out nonsensical examples of what the Titans shouldn't do. At one point, they tell her that the only two players in free agency that they would pay more than "market price" for, are Chris Jones and Justin Jefferson (who isn't a free agent).

It is brutal to listen to and your blood pressure will skyrocket with how many different ways Caroline tries to explain her point and then their outright refusal to acknowledge it as an option.

What I believe Caroline is trying to say, and what I believe, is that the only players who hit free agency are players who believe that the free market is going to pay them more than what their current team is offering. From then on, no matter what team signs that player, it is going to be the market value because players are going to sign with the team that gives them the best offer.

Since the Tennessee Titans have more money than nearly anyone else, they should match or exceed any offer that another team makes to players they really like. In the past two years alone, players like Joe Thuney, Terron Armstead, Marcus Williams, Brandon Scherff, Haason Reddick, Javon Hargrave, and obviously DeAndre Hopkins, have come in and made a big difference for their new teams and all of those players were "overpaid" when they were signed.

The Tennessee Titans should copy the 2019 Buffalo Bills

Looking at what the Tennessee Titans need and where they are as a franchise, the team they should compare themselves to is the 2019 Buffalo Bills.

In 2019 the Buffalo Bills were also coming off of a 6-win season with a rookie quarterback. They were in a situation where they had seen enough from Josh Allen during his rookie year to know two things. First, he was a prospect worth building around and he had a chance to become a franchise quarterback despite having a pretty ugly box score.

Second, he needed more weapons at his disposal and they were going to have to overpay to get them.

In the offseason, the Bills handed out two of the biggest wide receiver contracts of that free-agent period. If you can remember who they gave them to then you deserve a reward because it isn't easy to come up with John Brown and Cole Beasley when you are talking about big free-agent acquisitions.

Even though those names might not have come to you right away, they might ring a bell to Bills fans because in 2019 Brown led the Bills in receiving with over 1,000 yards and Beasley was second with nearly 800 yards. Those two led Buffalo in targets, receptions, touchdowns, first downs, and any other stat you want to keep track of for wide receivers.

Are either of those players great? No. Did the Bills pay "fair market value" for those guys? No. But were they worth it? Yes, and that is the point.

Bringing that back to the Tennessee Titans, this is a team that needs to continue to focus on offense to help Will Levis in his second season. While franchise tags could still be applied, there are plenty of players that the Titans should consider overpaying because they should have a floor of being above-average starters.

Players at major need positions on offense the Tennessee Titans should consider overpaying:

Mike Evans, WR
Calvin Ridley, WR
Darnell Mooney, WR
Gabe Davis, WR
Mike Onwenu, RT/RG
Robert Hunt, RG
Tyron Smith, LT
Lloyd Cushenberry, C
Tyler Biadasz, C
Andre James, C
Connor Williams, C

Defensive options the Tennessee Titans should consider overpaying:

L'Jarius Sneed, CB
Kendall Fuller, CB
Chidobe Owuzie, CB
Justin Madubuike, DL
Leonard Williams, DL
D.J. Reader, DL
Kamren Curl, S

Remember overpaying doesn't mean giving a guy $10 million more per year than the next highest offer. Sometimes the difference can be as small as a few hundred thousand dollars, and there is no excuse for the Titans to be outbid by someone considering where their roster is and how much money they have.

Free agency is a tool to bring in proven starters and the draft is where you are going to find blue-chip talent at premium positions. If the Tennessee Titans use these tools the way they are supposed to be used, then the same people that criticize the spending will forget that they complained as soon as the team is better.