Jon Robinson has some key decisions to make this offseason with two of the biggest coming on the offensive side of the ball. The Titans’ struggles on the defensive side have been well-documented, and Robinson will certainly have to address the pass rush, but two offensive decisions could set the stage for the rest of the decisions.
Corey Davis and Jonnu Smith are set to become free agents, which would take two of Ryan Tannehill’s premier weapons away. If that were to happen, Pro Football Focus writer Anthony Treash says the Titans should target a couple of veteran pass catchers — T.Y. Hilton and Jared Cook.
If Davis and Smith both depart, Tennessee should probably consider giving Ryan Tannehill more receiving options. Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton, PFF’s 38th-ranked free agent, and tight end Jared Cook, who ranks fifth in PFF receiving grade among TEs since 2018, could both potentially fit into the budget if they don’t pursue an edge rusher.
Of course, we’re familiar with both. The Titans drafted Cook in the third round of the 2009 draft and have face Hilton for years as a Colt. The question is, what does each guy have left in the tank?
Cook is going to be 34 next season, while Hilton will be 31. The Titans absolutely have work to do offensively, particularly at receiver. Those concerns would be amplified if Corey Davis did walk. Adding a veteran like Hilton could be a relatively cheap band-aid for an offense that will still be leaning heavily on Derrick Henry for the next couple of seasons.
As for the tight end position, is Anthony Firkser ready to be a primary pass-catching tight end? Does he offer what Jonnu does? Absolutely not, but Firkser has proven to be reliable over the last couple of seasons and could offer Robinson enough production to pass on a mid-tier signing like Cook.
Whichever route Robinson takes, I think it’s important to keep introducing new weapons into this offense. The Titans were too thin at receiver as it was, but thankfully A.J. Brown was able to fight through injuries and put up a big season. Though he may not have that top end gear he once had, Hilton does make sense as a plug and play vet with a potentially digestible contract.