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.
Today, we are looking at one of the team’s best defenders.
Name: Jayon Brown
Why the Titans should keep Brown: Jon Robinson really struck gold when he drafted Jayon Brown in the 5th round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Brown quickly became a starter on defense, and is currently one of their best players on that side of the ball. His ability to come downhill and impact the run game while also serving as the team’s main coverage limebacker is why Brown is an every down player. He also wears the green dot for the defense, acting as the main playcaller and communicator on the field.
The Titans really missed Brown down the stretch of the 2020 campaign after he suffered a season-ending injury against the Ravens in Week 11 on what was clearly a dirty hit and play.
Brown is still in the prime of his career at just 26 years old. The Titans have a couple of other good linebackers on the roster, but make no mistake, Brown is their best linebacker in every area of the game.
Should Brown sign elsewhere in free agency, his three-down ability would be sorely missed.
Best composite PFF coverage grades over the last 3 regular seasons among LB— Michael Nania (@Michael_Nania) February 20, 2021
1. Lavonte David (84.9)
2. Eric Kendricks (78.8)
3. Fred Warner (78.0)
4. Jayon Brown (77.1)
Brown + Mosley duo for the #Jets would be
Why the Titans should let Brown walk: The main argument as to why they should let Brown walk comes in the form of who would take his place: David Long, Jr., another Day 3 draft pick by Jon Robinson. Long did an excellent job replacing Brown down the stretch in 2020.
Should Brown price himself out of the Titans’ comfort zone, Long would almost certainly replace him in the starting lineup.
The fact of the matter is this: The Titans are going to lose some good players this offseason. With so many key free agents set to the test market in a few weeks time, the Titans have to make some difficult decisions. They’re going to have to decide who they can let walk by in part deciding who would be easiest to replace.
With a player like Long already on the roster, Robinson may be tempted to spend his money elsewhere while simply slotting a well-deserving Long into the starting lineup.
Over at @spotrac they released an article projecting where the Top NFL FAs land.— Football & Other F Words (@FWordsPod) February 21, 2021
They have the #Titans doing the following:
- Matt Judon: 4yr/$65m/$16.25m AAV
- Corey Davis: 4yr/$42m/$10.5m AAV
- Jayon Brown: 4yrs/$44m/$11m AAVhttps://t.co/oXLbYCOxtF
Final verdict: In truth, this is difficult for me. If I could, I would switch out Brown for Rashaan Evans — this decision would be a lot easier if Evans were a free agent and Brown was locked up for another year or two. I believe that Brown and Long would be the ideal pairing for this team at the inside linebacker position, but sadly that may not come to fruition.
Depending on how much cap space Robinson is able to create this offseason with releases and restructures, I would love to see Brown back in 2021. His dynamic ability has such a positive impact on this defense.
Moving on from Brown would likely make what’s already a bad defense worse.
Prediction: Brown receives a nice offer elsewhere and the Titans can’t afford to keep him.
What are your thoughts? Should the Titans re-sign Brown? Leave your opinion in the comments.