Well what do we have here?
When the Tennessee Titans signed Bud Dupree to a massive five-year, $82.5 M contract, you probably assumed that the team was done adding pass rushers. Well pump those breaks, because Jim Wyatt of the team’s official website has an inkling that the team is still looking for more depth at the position, according to the latest edition of his Mailbag.
Here are the full details.
Question: Would it make sense for the Titans to add a veteran edge rusher such as Justin Houston or Melvin Ingram? Does DaQuan Jones still being on the market hurt or help his chances of returning to the Titans? It would be great to have DaQuan back in the Titan’s locker room not to mention he does a lot of things that doesn’t necessarily show up on the stat line.
Jim: I don’t think the Titans are done adding edge rushers, I’ll say that. As for DaQuan, the fact he’s still available has to be viewed as a positive in terms of the chances of him coming back.
Wyatt doesn’t pretend to have any extra insight into these things anymore, especially since he works for the team now. But he’s in that building daily, and his opinion is certainly noteworthy, even if he himself tells you that it’s simply an educated guess.
In this case, I hope where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
It would be smart of Jon Robinson to add another pass rusher to the mix. Harold Landry and Dupree are locked into starting roles, but the team has little behind them. Derick Roberson is the main backup as of now, but was unproductive in 2020. I think he should make the team, but I’d feel more comfortable if he wasn’t the first option off the bench. Wyatt Ray and Tuzar Skipper are technically under contract as well, but neither player has much business making an NFL roster in 2021.
The Titans shouldn’t look to get themselves into a situation where both Dupree and Landry have to be on the field for 95% of the snaps on a weekly basis. That’s what happened to Landry last season, thanks to the Jadeveon Clowney and Vic Beasley disasters, and it limited Landry’s upside. His sack total would have been higher if he had a chance to catch his breath once in a while.
Additionally, we understand that Dupree was there big fish in free agency, but I’m not sure you want him playing 95% of snaps coming off a torn ACL.
When taking a look at the veteran rushers still available, there are plenty of intriguing options still on the market.
One player I’d love to see in two-tone blue next season is Ryan Kerrigan. That’s the kind of guy that can play a reduced snap count and keep Landry and Dupree fresh. Kerrigan was one of the best pass rushers in the league from 2016 to 2018, when he recorded an astounding 37 sacks in three seasons. Those days may be behind him, but Kerrigan still has some juice as a pass rusher. He’s entering his age 33 season, and is coming off a year in which he played 16 games and recorded 5.5 sacks. It was the same sack total that he had in 2019.
Kerrigan isn’t the only appealing option. Veteran Justin Houston, who played in the AFC South for the Colts last season, is still on the open market as well. Houston just turned 32 years old and is coming off an 8 sack season. Houston has been extremely consistent in his veteran years as he’s now recorded at least eight sacks in four straight seasons.
Last but not least, Melvin Ingram is another guy that could make sense. He was limited to just seven games in 2020 and finished the year without a sack for the first time in his NFL career. Ingram has been one of the best sack artists since he debuted in 2012, so 2020 was obviously an anomaly. But he’s about to turn 32, so there’s definitely some buyer beware here.
Should Wyatt be proven correct about the team adding another pass rusher, any one of these three players would make a ton of sense.