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2018 NFL Draft: Why are the Titans showing interest in cornerbacks?

More than due diligence?

NCAA Football: Florida State at Louisville Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Over the past two years, the Titans have invested quite a bit to fix up their secondary. Jon Robinson has spent big time money on Logan Ryan and Malcolm Butler while spending a first round pick on Adoree’ Jackson. Let’s not forget a decent contract for Johnathan Cyprien along with a third round selection of Kevin Byard.

After all that, the Titans are in pretty good shape in that area. They’ve got depth at cornerback too, with the emergence of Tye Smith last year and the now experienced LeShaun Sims still in the mix.

So why on earth would Jon Robinson be looking at cornerback prospects for the 2018 Draft? A simple due diligence response could be the legitimate answer here. But let’s take it a step deeper here.

Let’s focus on the contract of Logan Ryan, who handled slot duties last year after signing a three year, 30 million dollar deal in the 2017 offseason. Take a look at the deal below.

Embed This Contract

Pay attention to the dead money and savings section of the contract. Ryan’s dead money (if cut) goes from 5.3 million to $600,000 next offseason. The Titans could save 10 million dollars by cutting Ryan next offseason, who would still be just 28 years old.

With new deals coming up for Taylor Lewan and Marcus Mariota, that option would seem to be enticing for Jon Robinson. Tennessee has had top 50 prospects Josh Jackson and Jaire Alexander in for official “30” visits to this point. They’ve also had in mid-round prospect D.J Reed for a visit. Rashaan Gaulden from Tennessee is a guy that they’ve also shown some interest in.

While it would still be a shock for the Titans to spend the 25th pick on a cornerback, I might not totally rule one out at pick 57 or beyond. They’re still in pretty good shape at corner if you take Ryan out of the picture, honestly.

This is what the good teams do though. You see them playing the long game and planning ahead. With only one obvious need on the roster, taking another cornerback might just be a legitimate option.

Maybe I’m way off base here, but the theory makes sense. At least it does to me.