With the 2014 season in the books, it's time to take an objective look at the Titans roster by position group. I figured I'd start with the back end of the defense and work down. Then we'll move on to the offensive side of the ball. First up is the 2014 safety group.
Bernard Pollard (IR) (27 tackles, 1 sack)
Before going down with an injury early on in the 2014 season, Pollard was grading out as a top 20 safety on a defense where few players were standing out for their good performance. Pollard has inherent coverage limits, but his presence as a down-hill run support player is important, especially for a unit which performed so poorly against the rush. The loud hard-hitting strong safety has a year left on his deal with the Titans, and should help the team, if only in a rotational capacity, get the unit back on track next season.
George Wilson (73 tackles, 1 sack, 1 interception, 4 passes defensed)
One of the Titans 2015 unrestricted free agents, George Wilson has been an unsung hero since he was signed to the team two years ago. His work as a rotational safety, as well as his excellence on special teams, was a huge asset throughout his stay. While the franchise will likely transition to the young and talented Daimion Stafford to take over safety duties going forward, the team would be wise to bring back a guy like Wilson, who is great value for money, provides veteran depth, and brings a ton of leadership to the squad.
Daimion Stafford (33 tackles, 1 sack, 1 interception, 3 passes defensed)
Stafford has a solid set of physical tools, and was impressive during his time on the field in 2014. In the same mold as Pollard, Stafford excels when coming down into the box, and making big hits on the perimeters. He's got decent speed to not be a massive liability in coverage, but he's not polished in that area as of yet. Stafford should be the guy going forward at strong safety, so all eyes will be on him during the 2015 training camp.
Michael Griffin (112 tackles, 3 sacks, 2 interceptions, 5 passes defensed)
Griffin endured another extremely poor season in Tennessee, where he rated as a bottom 10 safety per PFF. After the season he underwent shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum, putting him out at least another 3-5 months. His $8.1 million cap hit is a liability, especially for a player that has struggled as he has. There is plenty of dead money involved, but the Titans can save $4.5 if they cut him. Whether they do that is another question entirely. With a lot of other roster holes to address, the Titans may opt to stay the course for 2015. Which is the lesser of two evils?
MarQueston Huff (18 tackles, 1 sack, 1 interception TD, 2 passes defensed)
Huff was projected by many to be a special teams guy only, but he impressed when he got a chance to see the field as a defender. In limited snaps, Huff showed he could tackle, play sideline to sideline, and that he can make big plays happen. It will be interesting to see how he develops. He's undersized for a safety, but lacks the ideal measurables to play corner. Listed simply as a "DB", I expect Horton to continue to find use for Huff, should he progress at a similar pace to what we've already seen.