The Tennessee Titans are generally one of the more boring teams to watch during the free agency frenzy. Last year they took a step in the right direction by taking Kamerion Wimbley off of the Raiders hands with a 5 year $35M contract, but it was far from enough to return this team to the postseason. This year the Titans built on that step, and took a serious leap into free agency.
Unlike their neighbours to the south in Miami, they didn’t just throw blank cheques at the agents of every free agent worth adding. Rather than hampering the future of this young team with Mike Wallace and Dashon Goldson esque contracts, they added character pieces that will be financially viable for many years to come. Sometimes it’s not about the quantity of money a team invests, but the quality of player’s brought back through their spending.
By signing players like Andy Levitre, Sammie Lee-Hill, Delanie Walker, George Wilson, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Shonn Greene and Bernard Pollard they not only acquired the vast majority of the Bills player purge, they added character to a team in desperate need of it. These weren’t the flashiest names on the market, but they will provide the leadership and depth necessary to help this team get back to the playoffs.
As opposed to a two back system as Chris Johnson is, there is no denying the addition of Shonn Greene will help the Titans ground game. And if Greene can’t help CJ2K get back to the two thousand yards his name would so subtly indicate he is capable of, signing the best guard on the market in Andy Levitre will certainly help. With Greene’s contract only about 40% guaranteed over three years and Levitre almost guaranteed to earn his keep the nearly minimal risk outweighed will be out outweighed by the solid boost they will provide to this offense. That doesn’t even take into account all Delanie Walker will be able to bring to this team, but that’s another article unto itself.
The Titans weren’t as active in upgrading their defense, but I’ve little in the way of complains with the moves they did make. George Wilson was signed to be the kind of physical safety often deployed in the box to help with run defense, but now shifts to a depth role with the addition of Bernard Pollard. Pollard, who was part of the post Super Bowl roster purge in Baltimore, signed weeks after the Wilson signing on a one year $2.5M deal. While many questioned the necessity of this move, I have a hard time finding any problems with it. There is literally zero risk associated with this signing, and he presents a cheaper upgrade on George Wilson. Besides, having depth in the secondary is never really a bad thing.
I’m not saying these signings make the Titans a playoff team, but they will certainly help their cause. Assuming they don’t work, there is relatively little long term risk either. The key beneficiary of these signings will be Jake Locker. With Greene, Levitre and Walker all in the fold an improved ground game and better protection will allow him to focus solely on passing the football. Best of all if you’re a Titans fan, they still have an estimated $10M in cap space. These signings could just be the beginning.
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