[Intersaison] Tennessee Titans: Getting off to a good start

The 2021 season has just ended, and as of March 16, the 2022 campaign will open its doors. Touchdown Actu therefore takes the opportunity to offer you an overview of the different franchises during the off-season. Which players to keep and cut? Which free agent to extend? Which rookies to watch? Here are some ideas, franchise by franchise. In the spotlight today, the Tennessee Titans.

We tend to forget it, but Tennessee finished the regular season at the top of its conference. In AFC, no one has done better than Mike Vrabel’s men. The problem is that they did not know how to capitalize on these good performances in the playoffs with a defeat as soon as they entered the running. There is the whole paradox of a formation which has great qualities, but also several shortcomings.

Overall, Tennessee is one of the most cohesive teams in the league. There’s no gaping hole in his roster, but marginal improvements are needed to definitively establish himself as a conference cador. Be careful however, a missed off-season could also bring them back into line.

The owners

1. Derrick Henry (RB)
2. AJ Brown (WR)
3. Kevin Byard (S)
4. Jeffery Simmons (DT)
5. Denico Autry (DE)

He has simply been the best runner in the league for several years. Certainly the best runner of his generation. Aligning Derrick Henry in his offensive backfield at the start of the season is the assurance of having a playmaker capable of winning a match for his team at any time. This is also the case for AJ Brown on the receiver side. For his third season in the league, the former Ole Miss has again raised his level of play to establish himself as one of the most successful in his position. In 2022, these two men will be the drivers of this attack. Be careful however, both have not had an easy season. The running back was seriously injured during the year and even if he was able to return for the playoffs, this should not force him to slow down. As for Brown, he regularly goes back and forth to the infirmary, which is never a good sign for a young player like him.

We’ve said it all year, the Titans have a full team. There are therefore guards on both sides of the field and this defense is not lacking. Kevin Byard, for example, is coming off the best season of his career. The safety has established itself as the boss of the bottom of the field for Mike Vrabel. To the point of being named for the first time since arriving in the league in the first team All-Pro. Performances facilitated by an exceptional pass-rush. Tennessee finished the year with no less than 43 sacks in all and an incredible performance in the playoffs in this sector (9 sacks against the Bengals). Among these quarterback hunters, two stand out: Jeffery Simmons (8.5 sacks) and Denico Autry (9 sacks). The young defensive tackle and the experienced defensive end will be back to continue doing what « front seven » one of the best in the league.


– Zach Cunningham (LB)
– Roger Saffold (RG)
– Janoris Jenkins (CB)

With $5 million over the cap, the Titans need to make room to be able to be a player in this free agency. Housekeeping could start with Zach Cunningham. Last year, the linebacker arrived in Tennessee in the middle of the season to help Mike Vrabel and this defense go far in the playoffs. Now, the former Houston must post a salary of 10 million dollars for the coming season. Not sure the Titans are willing to pay that amount for a linebacker like Cunningham.

Still aiming to save $10 million, Roger Saffold could be the next victim. The guard hasn’t been bad this year, far from it, but his injuries are starting to be worrying. Tennessee could decide to give a chance to Dillon Radunz, drafted in the second round last year. Finally, earlier in this 2021 draft, the leaders had chosen Caleb Farley. Unfortunately, the Virginia Tech cornerback had seriously injured his knee and could not win for his rookie season. Assuming that’s the case in 2022, the Titans could release Janoris Jenkins (and his $6.9 million) to make room for the sophomore.

The summer man

Caleb Farley (Hornback)

Whether Janoris Jenkins stays or not, the Titans expect a lot from Caleb Farley. After a year full of injuries, the player chosen with the 22nd choice last year must win on the back lines of Tennessee. Even in the infirmary, he was able to be in contact with the team and use this year as a laboratory. From now on, he must apply everything he has been able to learn to validate the choice of Jon Robinson. Its outbreak will be accompanied (at one time or another) by the sidelining of Janoris Jenkins.

In recent seasons, the cornerback position has become unstable in Tennessee. A few months after the forced departures of Adoree Jackson and Malcolm Butler, the Titans could form a pair of defenders made up of Kristian Fulton and Caleb Farley. Two young cornerbacks drafted high in the past two years (2nd round in 2020 for Fulton, 1st in 2021 for Farley) and who will be able to develop under the leadership of Mike Vrabel and Shane Bowen, the defensive coordinator.

The main free agents

1. Harold Landry (OLB)
2. Ben Jones (C)
3. D’Onta Foreman (RB)
3. Jayon Brown (LB)
4. Randy Bullock (K)

He is certainly the one who must tie the most knots in the brains of leaders at the moment: Harold Landry. We said the Titans pass-rush was one of the best in the league this season. If Autry, Simmons, Dupree all brought their stone to the building, the figurehead remained Harold Landry. In 2021, the outside linebacker exceeded 10 sacks for the first time in his career (12). Above all, he has continued to progress since his draft in 2018. Will the Titans have the means to keep him? In any case, the contract could look like the one that Matthew Judon (4 years and 54.5 million) and Trey Hendrickson (4 years and 60 million) signed last year. Tennessee may have some competition.

As for the other free agents, no one is irreplaceable. However, Jon Robinson and Mike Vrabel would be well advised to keep Ben Jones or D’onta Foreman for example, two important pieces of this team. The former has only missed one game in his 10-year career and remains the anchor of this decent offensive line. The second is insurance to prevent injury to Derrick Henry. The running had perfectly ensured the interim in 2021 and could be rewarded for it.

Top 5 Needs

1. Tight-end
2. Receiver
3. Offensive line
4. Linebacker
5. Pass rush

We now know what Ryan Tannehill is worth. The former Dolphin is a good quarterback who can be very good at times, but who will never be among the elite. So you have to circle it. Many. Derrick Henry and AJ Brown are already there, Julio Jones is on and off, but more is needed. It is therefore absolutely necessary to find solutions at the quarterback position, to add depth to the receivers and to strengthen the offensive line, in particular on pass protection. Vast project.

On the other side of the ball, the most disturbing line is the one in the middle. The linebacker group is not reassuring and the free agent status of … and … could make things even worse. One way or another, we need reinforcements. Finally, even if the pass-rush has been successful this season, Shane Bowen is constantly looking for new players capable of fitting into his system in order to perform there. Especially if the Titans can’t keep Harold Landry.


Dalton Schultz (TE)

Looking at the Titans roster at tight end, two things stand out. First, it looks like they’re all free agents this year. Geoff Swaim, Anthony Firkser, MyCole Pruitt and Ryan Izzo all have the opportunity to look elsewhere. Second, even if Tennessee could keep all of them, none of them really seem like a real offensive weapon for Ryan Tannehill. So why not go get the one that exploded this year in this sector? Dalton Schultz.

He appears to be a versatile player, capable of blocking, but also, and above all, of catching balls. In 2021, the Dallas player recorded 78 receptions, the third best total for a tight end in the league. His arrival would do a lot of good in an attack that seeks to strengthen on the side of the playmakers. At the Titans, he would be in the same pattern as in Dallas with solid players around him. CeeDee Lamb, Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliott will be replaced by Derrick Henry, AJ Brown and Julio Jones. What to continue to be efficient.

The new blood

Kenyon Green (Texas A&M)

For the Titans, the main need to manage during the draft is perhaps the position of linebacker. Unfortunately for them, the 26th pick they have is either too high or too low. Indeed, a player like Nakobe Dean, considered by many to be the best in his position this year, will certainly be gone by the time Tennessee returns to his position. Behind Dean, not sure there’s a linebacker who deserves a first round. Jon Robinson could then have to opt for the “best player available” policy.

We are betting here that Kenyon Green will still be there at the end of the first round. Texas A&M’s offensive lineman could do some good inside that Tennessee line that has struggled at times. His versatility could allow him to help in pass protection, but also to be effective in the ground game. And we know that in Nashville, the ground game is very important.

Other possible choices: Nakobe Dean (LB), Zion Johnson (OL), Trevor Penning (OL), Daniel Faalele (OL), Jalen Wydermyer (TE)…

Laisser un commentaire