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Tennessee Titans Wide Receiver Debate

Everyone always throws out there that the Titans need to get a #1 receiver.  It is debatable if the Titans have ever had a true #1 receiver.  Derrick Mason had a couple of 90+ catch seasons, but I don't think he was ever the game-changer that you think of when you think of a #1 receiver.  My question is how many #1 receivers are there in the league?  Here are the guys I have come up with that are #1 receivers (in no particular order):

1.    Randy Moss
2.    Terrell Owens
3.    Steve Smith
4.    Chad Johnson
5.    T.J. Houshmandzadeh
6.    Braylon Edwards
7.    Andre Johnson
8.    Marvin Harrison (assuming he is healthy)
9.    Reggie Wayne
10.    Plaxico Burress
11.    Roy Williams
12.    Joey Galloway (?)
13.    Larry Fitzgerald
14.    Tory Holt

There are 32 NFL teams, and only 14 #1 receivers by my count.  Are there countless guys in the NFL that would be upgrades to the Titans roster? Yes, but I think they would be stupid Bernard Berrian $16 million guaranteed.  You don't want to tie up that kind of money in a guy that isn't that good, because even though he would be an upgrade from what the Titans have now, he doesn't make them a Super Bowl contender, and he would end up hurting them down the road because of all the money that was tied up in him.  The same can be said about Donte Stallworth.  Giving him $10 million guaranteed upgrades your team, but it doesn't make you better than the Patriots.  That is why I don't think anyone should be upset that the Titans didn't make a bigger play for these guys.

Now trading for a receiver is a different argument.  What if the Arizona Cardinals came to the Titans and said they would be willing to part with Fitzgerald for a first and second round draft pick in this year's draft.  The Titans would be insane to not make that deal.  While Berrian and Stallworth don't make the Titans a Super Bowl contender, Fitzgerald absolutely would.  Draft picks are so over-valued in the NFL these days.  Look at what the Titans have added in the first and second round in the last 3 seasons:

2005- #32, Michael Roos
2006- Vince Young, LenDale White
2007- Michael Griffin, Chris Henry

How many of those guys would you not give up to get Fitzgerald?  My answer is Vince Young.  That is the only one, and I love Roos and Griffin.  Sure you would have to take on Fitzgerald's salary, but would you rather pay him $20-25 million guaranteed or Berrian $16 million.  That is a no brainer.

Now I have no idea what the Cardinals are asking for Fitzgerald, or if he is even available, but if I am the Titans' GM I am calling them every day with a new offer to try and get him away.  There probably isn't a #1 receiver in this draft, and even if there is it would take a couple of years for that guy to get there.  It is dumb to put all your eggs in that basket.
Bottom line: I am not upset that the Titans let any of the guys in free agency go elsewhere.  I will be upset though if they aren't making a push to get a guy that might be available.  


Update [2008-3-11 14:29:3 by Jimmy]: The Cardinals must have read what I wrote and got scared.