The Titans have thus far locked up one of their defensive stalwarts from the 2013 season in Bernard Pollard to a multi-year deal. The signing takes a big need off the board for Tennessee, and allows the team to focus on other positions as we close in to the Free Agency window, beginning March 11th.
The team also came to terms with Jackie Battle on a new one-year deal to solidify the back end of the running back group, and provide some added quality on special teams.
We've talked a lot about the Titans free agents who should be targets to re-sign such as Alterraun Verner, Ropati Pitoitua, along with some expected cuts like David Stewart, Chris Johnson, etc. But what about other targets out there on the market? Let's talk offense in this first part of the conversation. While there are other players to break down (and we will in time), I plucked a few names from the wire to look at first.
Eugene Monroe, RT
If the Titans don't see fit to bring back David Stewart in 2014, the former Jag might be an ideal pickup. Monroe was excellent in Baltimore last season at Left Tackle, and has a good resume following his days in Jacksonville. He could be a great option to shift to the right side of the Titans offensive line. While he would likely come at a high price, he would solidify the right side of the line for years to come, with a possible switch to left tackle when Roos hangs up his cleats.
While I don't like the idea of investing more funds into the offensive line, the right side is too big a hole to ignore. It saves the Titans from needing to take a tackle high in the draft, and like all the best free agent moves, allows the team to take BPA when they come on the clock in Radio City Music Hall.
Brandon Pettigrew, TE
Another name that has been overshadowed due to the free agency status of Jimmy Graham, who has since been tagged, Pettigrew is a very talented tight end that could be an ideal pair with Delanie Walker should the team not view Taylor Thompson as a viable option going forward. Craig Stevens is a likely cut with his bloated salary, and that could easily be put toward a player who has been more productive on the field. With the league favoring the utility of two-tight end sets, Pettigrew could provide Locker another big-bodied option in the passing game.
While Pettigrew wants a long-term deal with Detroit to get done, he is reportedly asking too much money from them ($6+ million a season). I don't see him getting that on the open market, so the Titans might be able to get him for a decent value when all is said and done.
Danario Alexander, WR
With the departure of Kenny Britt (finally), and Damian Williams, the Titans have some roster spots open at Wide Receiver. There are serious concerns about Alexander's health after several surgeries including complications with infection. Despite this, he is young and talented. While I would advocate for the Titans to look to a very deep draft to improve their WR stock behind Kendall Wright, Nate Washington, and Justin Hunter, Alexander is an intriguing option to keep an eye on. He was a difference maker when on the field with Phillip Rivers in San Diego.
I, like most, are slow to warm to injury-riddled wideouts, but without a dire need he might be low-risk, high-reward for the Titans on a deal with minimal guarantees. While I would certainly opt to bring back Damian Williams before going this route, it definitely helps, again, free up the Titans Front Office to go BPA in the upcoming draft.
They say that "need" is a disastrous evaluator of talent, and Tennessee should be doing all they can when March 11th rolls around to make sure that isn't an issue come draft day.