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Should the Tennessee Titans try to recreate the 2012 Pittsburgh Steelers

Why some cheap free agents make sense.

Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

It is 2012. The "washed up Pittsburgh Steelers defense" anchored by veterans Lamarr Woodley, James Harrison, Ike Taylor, and Troy Polamalu lead the team to the NFL's best defense. This is the last time that these four players were all on the same team. Fast forward just two years, and it looks like they could have the opportunity to join forces again.

Let me be the first to say that signing over the hill free agents to big contracts is the dumbest thing a general manager can do. However, when grabbing veterans for cheap makes a lot of sense in certain situations.

For example, the Seattle Seahawks wait out the market every year and grab guys like Kevin Williams, Cliff Avril, Michael Bennett, and Tony McDaniel who aren't exactly the youngest guys in the league. However, because they have a few key young pieces and great defensive coaching, they get these players to overachieve and out preform their contracts.

So, what is my point? My point is, that the Titans are one of the few teams (if not the only team) that has a chance to take the four aforementioned players and make them very good role players. New DC Dick Lebeau is obviously very familiar with these players and can get the most out of them.

If the Titans could bring all of these players in for veteran minimum, they could still have around $52 million to spend on the other key free agents in this draft. Adding those four veterans to help the rookies and new players get lined up in the complex LeBeau defense could be invaluable.

On top of their decades of combined experience under LeBeau, these four players in addition to a few potential big name targets like Devin McCourty, Rolando McClain, Pernell McPhee, Brandon Graham, and/or Jason Worilds could make this defense vastly superior to what it was in 2014 with minimal resource commitment.

In any other situation this wouldn't make sense, however given the complexity of this defense and the likelihood the Titans drafting a defender at the top (i.e. Leonard Williams) this could help provide the Titans with a stopgap while they try to get younger players adjusted to the scheme.