Over the next few weeks, we’ll be taking a closer look at the Titans’ free agent class. One by one, we’ll provide some basic details on the player before making an argument for both sides — why the Titans should, or shouldn’t re-sign that player. We’ll also offer our final verdict and a prediction to go along with it.
Name: Nick Westbrook-Ikhine
Position: wide receiver
Why the Titans should keep Westbrook: Westbrook was one of three undrafted free agents that made a positive impact on the Titans’ active roster in 2020. He only caught three passes for a total of 33 yards, but it says a lot about his effort and character that Westbrook was able to not only make the team as a UDFA despite not having a rookie mini-camp or a preseason, but the coaching staff actually trusted him to play real reps for them. While his impact as a receiver was minimal, his impact on special teams was massive. Westbrook was an excellent special teams player in 2020.
His impact on special teams was mostly felt in the team’s Week 15 victory over the Detroit Lions. First, he covered Brett Kern’s lone punt of the day, tackling the returner for a one-yard loss at the DET seven-yard line. Later, the Lions ran a fake punt early in the fourth quarter. It looked well set up to be converted, but Westbrook made a play-saving tackle just short of the sticks. It all but sealed the victory. You love to see fringe roster players playing with this sort of passion and effort.
Why the Titans should let Westbrook walk: Westbrook has a low ceiling as a wide receiver. It’s unlikely that he ever makes a huge impact in this area. If the Titans agree with this evaluation, then it could make sense to move on.
Final verdict: Westbrook is actually an exclusive rights free agent (ERFA), which means the Titans control his rights as long as they offer him a one-year contract at the league minimum (based on his credited seasons). They should exercise their option to keep him. He’s a terrific special teams player.
Prediction: Westbrook is back in Tennessee after they make the necessary offer to him as an EFRA.
What are your thoughts? Should the Titans re-sign Westbrook? Leave your opinion in the comments.