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Titans free agent spotlight: EDGE Harold Landry

Jacksonville Jaguars v Tennessee Titans Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Welcome to Music City Miracles’ Tennessee Titans 2022 NFL Free Agency Primer! Free agency is set to begin on March 16th, but the Titans are able to re-sign their own free agents before then. General manager Jon Robinson will be hard at work as the 2022 iteration of the Titans will begin to take shape over the next few weeks. March 8th represents the deadline for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.

The Titans currently possess 28 free agents, including several key starters and role players. Over the next few weeks, we’ll take an in-depth look at each free agent and provide arguments for 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 our analysis.

Today, we’re looking at one of the team’s best defenders.

Name: Harold Landry

Position: Outside linebacker

Current Age: 25 (Landry will turn 26 before the 2022 campaign begins)

Why the Titans should keep Landry: Landry experienced a career season in 2021 by recording a team-high 12 sacks while playing a starring role on a new-look defensive line that also included Jeffery Simmons, Denico Autry and Bud Dupree. Landry was a true quarterback hunter all throughout the season, and was extremely consistent. In addition to his impressive sack totals, Landry also recorded career-highs in total tackles (68) and solo tackles (44).

Landry has been a workhorse throughout his four-year Titans career. He’s consistently played north of 95% of the team’s defensive snaps on a weekly basis. He plays an important role on the defense by also dropping into coverage at times. His versatility helped shape an excellent Titans defense in 2021.

Landry is still in the prime of his career at just 25 years old. Make no mistake, Landry is their best pass rusher and should be retained, either via the franchise tag or more desirably, via a three or four year extension that helps lower his 2022 cap hit.

Why the Titans should let Landry walk: It’s probably no coincidence that Landry experienced the best season of his career in a contract year. Prior to 2021, Landry had never been the sack artist the team drafted him to be. He had just 5.5 sacks in 2020 while playing on a horrid defensive line that struggled to get to the QB. Landry didn’t elevate that crew, and may have been a product of the new-found talent around him in 2021.

Furthermore, the Titans signed fellow outside linebacker Bud Dupree to a five-year, $82.5 million contract last offseason. Landry will likely command a similar deal that pays him somewhere between 17 and $20 million annually. This means the Titans would have two pass rushers on massive contracts, and it’s worth discussing if that’s the best way for a cash-strapped Titans team to allocate their cap space.

Final verdict: The Titans should re-sign Landry. Robinson doesn’t exactly have a great track record when it comes to finding pass rushers via the draft or free agency (Kevin Dodd, Jadeveon Clowney and Vic Beasley come to mind) and it would be silly for the Titans to create a hole there after finally finding two stud pass rushers. The much-improved pass rush helped completely transform this 2021 Titans defense compared to the painful 2020 version. The Titans would be wise to keep this quartet together.

Prediction: The Titans do indeed re-sign Landry. Robinson and Mike Vrabel have consistently mentioned Landry this offseason as one of the team’s leaders. Defensive coordinator Shane Bowen is a big fan of Landry and the Titans utilize Landry in so many different ways. He’s extremely valuable to this defense and the Titans would struggle greatly to replace him.

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