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Free Agency Draws Near: Let's Pillage The Saints.

When I look at the Titans, I see a lot of positions that could be drastically improved for not a whole lot of money. That in itself isn't a very ambiguous statement, but let me explain further because that's what we do here. The basic gist of this piece is that the Titans have a lot of money to spend. The Saints have a lot of really good players who are going to be free agents. The Saints will likely use all of their money desperately trying to bring back Drew Brees (a lock to stay a member of Who Dat Nation for life), Carl Nicks, and Marques Colston. Unless Colston and Nicks wish to give the Saints some hometown discounts, chances are that there are a few teams out there who can do better.

Should the Titans fail to sign Nicks or Colston (likely), they would be extremely wise to pursue local boy and quietly awesome Robert Meachem. He doesn't put up any eye-popping numbers, but this is a guy who is absolutely perfect to capitalize on an expanded role in an offense that isn't quite as loaded as New Orleans'. He's also entering the prime years of his career. At age 27, Meachem could be a real asset and it probably wouldn't cost too much to lure him away from the Saints when shown the opportunity to have a larger role.

This move just makes sense on a whole bunch of different levels. We want to make things as easy as we can for our rookie quarterback. When I think "young, QB friendly receiver corps", Damian Williams and Lavelle Hawkins do not come to mind. However, Kenny Britt, Nate Washington, and Robert Meachem suddenly make things a lot more manageable. Speaking of Kenny Britt, this guy is no guarantee to play 10 games next year, much less a full 16. The front office would be wise to sign some insurance, Nate Washington replicating last years' stats is certainly not anything I want to bet my passing game on.

You may have some issues with Meachem's alleged lack of production, but have no fear, advanced statistics back this up. I've used DYAR and DVOA before to compare wide receivers, but just to review: the higher the DYAR, the more valuable the player is overall, the higher the DVOA, the more valuable the player is per play. Meachem, for all his shortcomings and lack of traditional production, ranks ahead of players like Stevie Johnson, Dwayne Bowe, Anquan Boldin, and Jeremy Maclin in DYAR, coming in at 21st in the NFL. In DVOA, he's more valuable than Wes Welker, coming in at 9th in the league. What this says to me is that there's a lot of untapped potential there. Per play, Meachem is terrific, but the ball just doesn't go his way often enough. This guy could end up being the steal of free agency.

Like I said earlier, I don't like the Titans' chances of getting Carl Nicks, but another Saint is sitting right there, ripe for the picking. Assume the front office can't sign Cortland Finnegan for whatever reason. They're going to need someone to come in and play here, a strong stable of corners is crucial in this day and age. I think that someone could be Tracy Porter. I get the feeling that New Orleans will make a bigger push to get him back than they will with Meachem, but there's still a chance someone else can grab him. Money talks, and the Titans have a lot of money to spend right now. Porter makes sense because while Jason McCourty seems to be an emerging star, it'd be nice to have some sense of security as to who can replace Finnegan's spot as the true number one. If things go as planned, McCourty should be the starter next year assuming Finnegan leaves, that would make Porter the two and Verner the three, with room for flexibility. I don't know about you, but that's definitely a group I can live with.

One last thing on Porter: he'll probably (see; definitely) be cheaper than my other suggestion, Brandon Carr, given his injury history.

So you see, Titans fans, we really have a lot to gain this offseason, a lot of which can be gained from pillaging the castoffs of just one team.