Where Should The Tennessee Titans Go From Here? Free Agency Edition 3/19

 

When you look at the current Tennessee Titans roster you get a feeling this team isn’t quite done making moves this offseason. We have to admit, free agency did not start off how most Titans fans envisioned; Corey Davis leaves for the Jets, Jonnu Smith leaves to go play with the Patriots, and then out of nowhere we release both our starting cornerbacks from the 2020 season. Now, this article’s purpose is not to dwell in the past but to now look forward to the future. Who are the players the Titans should pursue in the open market with what limited cap space this team still possesses? Well, as soon as you see this Titan team’s depth chart there are 2 obvious holes, Cornerback and Wide Receiver. The team has already brought in the likes of savvy veteran Janoris Jenkins and former first-round bust Kevin Johnson to attempt to fill the void left a cornerback, but I still don’t think this will be near enough to fill the huge void. So let’s take a look at some players that could come in and fill that void that are still currently available and on the open market.

 

Brian Poole 

Poole is a physical slot corner who has been putting up some very impressive numbers the past two seasons with the New York Jets. Over the past two years combined, he is only allowing a 76.45 passer rating when targeted and has given up only one touchdown. That play resulted in PFF ranking him as the ninth and 11th best cornerback in 2019 and last season, respectively. Poole has dealt with injury concerns, but the Titans would be getting a very consistent slot corner which they so desperately need.

Key Stats:    (Last 3 years Combined and averaged)     

  • Touchdowns Allowed –  0.6 Touchdowns allowed per season
  • Completion Percentage Allowed – 60.1% Completion Percentage Allowed
  • Yards Per Completion Allowed – 11.3 Yards per Completion
  • Passer Rating Allowed – 76.45 passer rating when targeted
  • PFF Gade – 72.4 Overall Grade

 

 

Bashaud Breeland

Against passes of 20 or more air yards last season, Breeland was one of the best in the league. per Sports Info Solutions, he allowed two receptions on 13 targets for 60 yards, no touchdowns, and one interception. Among cornerbacks with at least 10 deep targets, nobody allowed a lower QBR than Breeland’s 6.73. The only knock on Breeland is his inconsistency, the veteran cornerback had three games with a PFF coverage grade above 80.0 this past season, but he also one of 32.2 and another of 43.1 as well as two games in the 50s. I know PFF grades don’t mean a whole lot but you can get some valuable information out of them, and this does back up the point that he can be inconsistent.

Key Stats:    (Last 3 years Combined and averaged)     

  • Touchdowns Allowed – 3 Touchdowns allowed per season
  • Completion Percentage Allowed – 49.9% Completion Percentage Allowed
  • Yards Per Completion Allowed – 14.3  Yards per Completion
  • Passer Rating Allowed – 72.3  passer rating when targeted
  • PFF Gade – 58.1 Overall Grade

 

 

Casey Hayward Jr. 

Hayward really came into his own with the Chargers, making two Pro Bowls and garnering two All-Pro selections. With Los Angeles, Hayward started 75 games and snagged 14 interceptions, breaking up 66 passes. Hayward was Pro Football Focus’s top coverage defender in 2017. Sadly,  Hayward’s best days are probably behind him. Four years after earning a 91.1 Pro Football Focus grade, he posted a 59.5 mark in 2020. Also, he allowed opposing offenses to gain yards in chunks and gave up 16.3 yards per completion last season. He would still be a solid option and an automatic upgrade over whoever the Titans have at Cornerback right now.

Key Stats:    (Last 3 years Combined and averaged)     

  • Touchdowns Allowed – 3.3 Touchdowns allowed per season
  • Completion Percentage Allowed – 54.9%  Completion Percentage Allowed
  • Yards Per Completion Allowed – 14.2  Yards per Completion
  • Passer Rating Allowed – 91.5  passer rating when targeted
  • PFF Gade – 73.6 Overall Grade

 

 

Xavier Rhodes (Off-Market)

Rhodes showed last year that he could still be a quality starter in the NFL even as he crossed the age of 30. He signed a one-year deal with the Colts and went on to notch 12 pass breakups and allowed just 51.3% completion rate in coverage in 2020. He also had two interceptions with one of those being returned for a touchdown. Rhodes may still have something left in the tank and could very well be a key defensive component if he ends up in Nashville.

Key Stats:    (Last 3 years Combined and averaged)     

  • Touchdowns Allowed – 3.6 Touchdowns allowed per season
  • Completion Percentage Allowed – 64.9%  Completion Percentage Allowed
  • Yards Per Completion Allowed –  12.2 Yards per Completion
  • Passer Rating Allowed – 97.8  passer rating when targeted
  • PFF Gade – 60.3 Overall Grade

 

Kyle Fuller (Off-Market)

One of the better cornerbacks in the NFL is about to hit the open market. According to multiple media reports, the Chicago Bears plan to release Kyle Fuller this week, putting a former All-Pro out on the market as a street free agent. This would be an absolutely huge pickup for the Titans if they could get this deal done it would boost that defense tremendously.

Key Stats:    (Last 3 years Combined and averaged)     

  • Touchdowns Allowed – 3 Touchdowns allowed per season
  • Completion Percentage Allowed – 60.8%  Completion Percentage Allowed
  • Yards Per Completion Allowed – 12  Yards per Completion
  • Passer Rating Allowed – 85.2 passer rating when targeted
  • PFF Gade – 69.8 Overall Grade

 

T.J. Carrie

Carrie is someone who could help the Titans check off an item from their to-do list; adding Carrie as an economical free agent would give the team a possible starter opposite Janoris Jenkins while letting the Titans remain flexible on draft day. The team would more than likely still need to draft a cornerback, but it wouldn’t be a first-round necessity.

Key Stats:    (Last 3 years Combined and averaged)     

  • Touchdowns Allowed – 1 Touchdown allowed per season
  • Completion Percentage Allowed – 60.5 %  Completion Percentage Allowed
  • Yards Per Completion Allowed – 12.8 Yards per Completion
  • Passer Rating Allowed – 86.4 passer rating when targeted
  • PFF Gade – 64.6 Overall Grade

 

Darqueze Dennard

A first-round pick in 2014, some scouts believed Dennard would be the next big thing. I think we all know that didn’t happen. He’s started 30 games in his seven seasons and intercepted four passes. He played nine games for Cincinnati in 2019 and eight games for Atlanta in 2020.  He allowed a catch rate of 41.4 percent in 2019 and 48.7 percent in 2020. His career missed-tackle rate is 5.6 percent. He’ll turn 30 in October.

Key Stats:    (Last 3 years Combined and averaged)     

  • Touchdowns Allowed – 1.6 Touchdown allowed per season
  • Completion Percentage Allowed – 60.7%  Completion Percentage Allowed
  • Yards Per Completion Allowed – 10.1 Yards per Completion
  • Passer Rating Allowed – 86.4 passer rating when targeted
  • PFF Gade – 68.9 Overall Grade

 

Jason McCourty

McCourty may be coming off an inconsistent season and will turn 34 in August, but he can still have value to a team like the Titans if used to his strengths: he is no longer a number one cornerback to be left on an island, but still has the speed, football IQ and strong technical foundation to work as a rotational number two/three guy at cornerback either on the perimeter or in the slot. Optionally, as the Patriots did at times in 2020, he also could be used as a deep-field safety.

Key Stats:    (Last 3 years Combined and averaged)     

  • Touchdowns Allowed – 3.3 Touchdown allowed per season
  • Completion Percentage Allowed – 55.0%  Completion Percentage Allowed
  • Yards Per Completion Allowed – 13.1 Yards per Completion
  • Passer Rating Allowed – 92.6 passer rating when targeted
  • PFF Gade – 69.7 Overall Grade

 

Now to look at the other big hole in the depth chart at the moment, Wide Receiver:

 

Kenny Stills

Tennessee still has more work to do with its receiving corps, and I expect them to address that with at least one more signing, and at least one pick during the 2021 NFL draft. Stills is a former teammate of Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill during their days with the Miami Dolphins, said earlier in the month it “would make sense” for him to play in Tennessee in 2021.

Key Stats:   (Last 3 years Combined and averaged) 

  • Drop Percentage: 8.03% Drop Percentage
  • Passer Rating when Targeted: 99.1 Passer Rating when targeted
  • Yards per Reception: 14 yards per reception
  • Catch Percentage: 62.8% Catch Percentage
  • First Down Percentage: 66.0% First Down Percentage
  • PFF Gade – 65.0 Overall Grade

 

Cordarrelle Patterson

Last year in Chicago, the 30-year-old receiver caught 21 passes for 132 yards and zero touchdowns over 16 games. In the return game, he returned 35 kicks for 1,017 yards, including one touchdown that went for 104 yards. That particular return was the longest in Bears franchise history, and it was his eighth career touchdown on kick returns, tying him with Josh Cribbs and Leon Washington for the all-time lead in NFL history. Cordarrelle Patterson is a number of things: Wide receiver, running back, return specialist. All of those things make him the type of versatile offensive weapon that could really open up the field for A.J. Brown and Derrick Henry if used correctly.

Key Stats:   (Last 3 years Combined and averaged) 

  • Drop Percentage: 2.5% Drop Percentage
  • Passer Rating when Targeted: 100.7 Passer Rating when targeted
  • Yards per Reception: 8.5 yards per reception
  • Catch Percentage: 74.5% Catch Percentage
  • First Down Percentage: 42.0% First Down Percentage
  • PFF Gade – 65.8 Overall Grade

 

Dede Westbrook

Westbrook could come in and fill the WR 3/4 role well enough, so the Titans dont have to invest an early draft pick in it. While the team excels at drafting receivers, they have a lot of holes that will need to be filled this year. Westbrook is a band-aid, but one that the team could utilize in the short-term. Add in his return ability, and he could really help fill out this depth chart.

Key Stats:   (Last 3 years Combined and averaged) 

  • Drop Percentage: 2.9% Drop Percentage
  • Passer Rating when Targeted: 86.3 Passer Rating when targeted
  • Yards per Reception: 11.1 yards per reception
  • Catch Percentage: 61.6% Catch Percentage
  • First Down Percentage: 53.1% First Down Percentage
  • PFF Gade – 62.8 Overall Grade

 

Golden Tate

Golden Tate isn’t the player he used to be, but he can still contribute at a high level when on the field. He’s a real force after the catch, having racked up 5.8 yards after the catch per reception as recently as 2019. That was good for the seventh-best mark among all qualified WRs. With most of the big-name players off the market, he would be a very solid choice for the Titans if they are looking for a solid veteran presence to add to the receiving core.

Key Stats:   (Last 3 years Combined and averaged) 

  • Drop Percentage: 3.8% Drop Percentage
  • Passer Rating when Targeted: 93.0 Passer Rating when targeted
  • Yards per Reception: 11.8 yards per reception
  • Catch Percentage: 63.4% Catch Percentage
  • First Down Percentage: 50.2% First Down Percentage
  • PFF Gade – 70.0 Overall Grade

 

Danny Amendola

Danny Amendola has built a successful career for himself as one of the league’s better slot receivers. Though he’s not the player he was in his prime, Amendola proved he can still contribute as a high-level role player, coming off back-to-back 600-yard seasons with the Detroit Lions. Now a free agent, his history of stellar playoff performances makes him an intriguing target for the WR needy Titans.

Key Stats:   (Last 3 years Combined and averaged) 

  • Drop Percentage: 2.5% Drop Percentage
  • Passer Rating when Targeted: 81.4 Passer Rating when targeted
  • Yards per Reception: 10.6 yards per reception
  • Catch Percentage: 68.4% Catch Percentage
  • First Down Percentage: 57.1% First Down Percentage
  • PFF Gade – 71.0 Overall Grade

 

Damiere Byrd

While Byrd can’t be a successful offense’s most heavily used wide receiver, he certainly could be a decent option in three-receiver sets to help keep a defense honest. Byrd is undersized and he’s insanely speedy (4.28 40 yard dash) and always a threat for a big play.

Key Stats:   (Last 3 years Combined and averaged) 

  • Drop Percentage: 3.7% Drop Percentage
  • Passer Rating when Targeted: 82.2 Passer Rating when targeted
  • Yards per Reception: 12.0 yards per reception
  • Catch Percentage: 65.3% Catch Percentage
  • First Down Percentage: 54.8% First Down Percentage
  • PFF Gade – 62.9 Overall Grade
About Gabriel 134 Articles
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