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Titans free agent spotlight: DL DaQuan Jones

NFL: Tennessee Titans at Baltimore Ravens Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

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 longest tenured Titans.

Name: DaQuan Jones

Position: defensive linemen

Age: 29

Why the Titans should keep Jones: DaQuan Jones is one of very few players that was on this roster before general manager Jon Robinson took over as the head decision maker. Since being drafted in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft, Jones has been a consistent and good football player. He’s one of the team’s better Day 3 draft picks in recent memory. He doesn’t always stand out on the stat sheet, but Jones plays an important role on the defensive line. Often lining up at nose tackle, Jones is tasked with stopping the run and eating up double teams. While doing so throughout his tenure as a Titan, he’s allowed players like Jeffery Simmons, Jurrell Casey and Jayon Brown to take on single blocks and make plays in and around the line of scrimmage. It’s an unheralded yet important role, and few players around the league do it better than Jones does.

This franchise lost A LOT of leaders in the locker room last offseason. Just one offseason after watching guys like Casey, Logan Ryan and Delanie Walker walk out the door, can they afford to lose another leader in Jones?

Why the Titans should let Jones walk: Jones offers little to nothing as a pass rusher. As the NFL game continues to become more pass happy with each passing year, early down run stoppers are becoming less and less valuable. This team badly needs to find a way to get more pressure on the QB in 2021, and Jones doesn’t help them do that. Jones is also turning 30 years old this coming December. He’s not getting younger and won’t be around forever. They need to find a contingency plan here.

Also, pairing Simmons with another defensive linemen in Jones’ place, one that could get after the passer more could be an interesting direction to go in.

Final verdict: The Titans should bring Jones back on a short-term deal that pays him less annually than his last contract paid him ($7 million). If they can get Jones back on a two or three year deal that pays him roughly $5-6M per year, I think it would make a lot of sense to bring him back.

Prediction: The Titans opt to bring Jones back in 2021. They have a tremendous amount of respect for the role he plays both as a run stopper and is a leader in the locker room. I don’t think this team is ready to move on from him just yet.

What are your thoughts? Should the Titans re-sign Jones? Leave your opinion in the comments.