Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Titans need some depth at the defensive end/tackle. Where can they get it, specifically in free agency?
One of the most important positions the Titans are looking to upgrade is the defensive line position. Before I look at what's out there in FA, lets look at what we've got. *I know a lot of DE talent is in this years draft, but that's a whole other post I'm gonna do closer to the draft.*
Starting DE's Derrick Morgan and Wimbely are both pretty solid starters, Morgan who was hampered with the ACL tear his rookie year, really started to come into his own last year, but this coming year is a make it or break it year for him. Wimbely right off the bat looked like a solid free agency pickup and turned out to be better than Mario Williams was for the Bills (who was the prized defensive free agent last year). Behind that well its a bit of a crap shoot. The only person still signed on the team is DE Scott Solomon who saw some action last year, but didn't really stand out anywhere. Dave Ball is an unrestricted FA, who's concussion problems are probably gonna make him walk away from the game. The Titans are actually more set depth wise and one could say talent wise at the DT position. Jurrell Casey could turn out to be one of the premier run stoppers in the league if he keeps up the pace. Mike Martin and Karl Klug both have shined at time's, especially Klug and his ability to get to the QB whenever he is on the field. Dajon Harris and Zach Clayton are still on the team, but to be honest, both don't really stick out. Other than the Jared Cook franchise situation, and hopeful Bironas off season signing, Sen'Derrick Marks is a really important player that needs to be re-signed. He had a rather good year this past year, and brought some much needed leadership to a young DT group. So Marks is defiantly an important player to keep on this team. Even if he is signed back, the Titans are looking to upgrade that position as well...and who and where can they get this help?
First place the Titans will be looking is free agency. Now, I know a lot of your hearts dropped when DE Michael Johnson of the Bengals got Franchised, but there is hope in the market for another edge rusher.
I'll start with Tampa Bay Buc Michael Bennett. He's 27, un-restricted and is looking for a place to make an impact. Now it would be tough to see who would be the starter if Bennett came in, but regardless of who's starting the rotation of Morgan, Wimbley, and Bennett would be fantastic.
Rumors are swirling around the fate of New York Giants DE Osi Umenyiora, will be on the market with the Giants not picking up the team option to keep him. That would be the perfect fit for the Titans, a super-bowl winning edge rusher. Yes one of his requirements would be to start, which I believe Derrick Morgan or Wimbely are team players and would oblige. Even if he isn't the starter he would certainly see a fair amount of snaps in every game.
Cliff Avril, the enigma that he is, could potentially be in two-toned blue, but all signs are pointing to Franchise tag if a long term deal isn't put in place by the 12th of March. He could be an impact player right off the bat, but he looks a tad unreasonable to get and he will be a large contract to deal with.
The thought of bringing back two ex-Titans wouldn't be a bad idea. At DT Jason Jones, didn't really make a big impact in Seattle and has been released. He didn't even start one game, so he's got to looking to redeem himself anywhere. Why not come back to familiar surroundings. KVB was released by the Lions, and yes he may be a long shot, but it would be logical to finish up your career where you got a second chance and didn't disappoint. If they are looking for leadership and a great value player, then look no further than Vanden Bosch and Jones.
Speaking of value picks, look no further then Dwight Freeney. He wreaked havoc against the Titans during the glory days of the Colts/Titans rivalry. His performance has dropped off, but he was forced to play in a 3-4 system last year and he's not a 3-4 end or linebacker. Put him somewhere he can thrive with his spin move in a 4-3 defense. Some roll your eyes, but he could be perfect to help with a D-line rotation.
Now the big money DT would be Henry Melton from Chicago, he 13 sacks over 29 starts which is great for a DT. He will be looking to get paid, but if the Titans want to get back that space eating, pressure a DT can bring than look no further than Melton. There have been rumblings of the Franchise tag in the Windy City, but until that happens the Titans should make it a priority to sign him.
So if the Titans are looking for leadership and immediate impact from a player in free agency, then there is plenty of proven talent out there. Are they willing to actually go after the best?
Out of the potential DE/DT Free Agents listed, who would you want signed?
Tampa Bay Buc- Michael Bennett (48 votes)
New York Giant- Osi Umenyiora (66 votes)
Chicago Bear- Henry Melton (42 votes)
Detroit Lion - Cliff Avril (23 votes)
Free Agent- Kyle Vanden Bosch (14 votes)
Free Agent- Jason Jones (7 votes)
Re-sign Sen'Derrick Marks (14 votes)
Other...(please write in comment section) (11 votes)
225 total votes