Today I’ll just go over everything that I missed and jumble it all into one post here.
First things first, Ran Carthon was hired by the Titans to be their new general manager. Honestly it is hard to truly judge management position hires and who really knows how this hiring will pan out. However, we can look at Carthon’s track record and the organization he has worked for. The San Francisco 49ers is one of the most complete teams and best teams in the league and Carthon probably had a lot to do with developing that roster which is very inspiring to see in this hiring.
Next let’s talk about free agency. I didn’t have much expectation for free agency as everyone knows how much against the cap the titans currently are. All the signings were mediocre; not eye-popping but they weren’t terrible either. However, it’s the players that we let walk and released that I want to mainly focus on. The titans released several players including Taylor Lewan, Zach Cunningham, Bud Dupree, Randy Bullock, Robert Woods, and Ben Jones to name our most notable. I was pretty much fine with most of these moves as they were necessary. The Bud Dupree move I was a little confused because I would’ve liked to have him back but with the depth we have at edge rushing I don’t mind too much. The Ben Jones cut hurts because he has been a stalwart for us and now we have another glaring hole on the offensive line.
Now with all these releases, I want to talk about the two players we let walk in free agency, Nate Davis and David Long. Both of these players have been good contributors for this team and seeing the Titans letting them walk didn’t sit well with me. We basically swapped Nate Davis for Andre Dillard. I would’ve preferred to keep Davis here because we know what kind of player he is for this team and we can’t say the same for Dillard. Losing Davis also creates another hole on our offensive line. Letting David Long walk made me really unhappy, especially considering that he signed a very cheap deal with the Miami Dolphins. Long was a very good player for us and losing him created another hole on the roster. One thing I do find very peculiar is that I’ve read numerous articles about how Vrabel didn’t get along with both Long and Davis too much. He also apparently took a jab at both of them about their inability to stay healthy. Personally, I find this to be such a failing on Vrabel’s part which I will be discussing more in depth in another post.
During the early weeks of free agency there were rumors swirling that the Titans were listening to trade offers for Derrick Henry and also asking Kevin Byard to take a pay cut or get traded. Let me just say that the NFL is a business and I can understand listening for offers for Derrick Henry. However, as a fan and being as objective as I can I think that this would be a terrible mistake. Derrick Henry is easily the Titans best player and trading him would I don’t think you can get much for him because other teams don’t value running backs as highly as the titans do. Also, since Henry is our best player we basically have no more identity. I don’t think a majority of fans can get behind this move either and Carthon would be putting himself in hot waters if this was to happen. The Kevin Byard rumor was nonsensical and I think Carthon needs to chill. The rumors regarding Byard take a pay cut or trade makes no sense to me and similar to Derrick Henry would hurt the team more than help. I’m not even going to entertain a trade of either Henry or Byard any further.
Jeffrey Simmons was finally signed to an extension. Finally. I don’t know why it took this long but Carthon finally was able to get this done, which he was supposed to do all along.
We are officially a week from the 2023 NFL draft. I haven’t paid too much attention to the draft in recent years and this year is included. With how many holes this roster has and so many needs there can be an argument made about what direction the Titans should take. They can go offensive tackle, they can go receiver, or bodily trade up for a quarterback. I don’t mind any of these three scenarios as we desperately need answers at all these positions. I think the safe route would be sitting at 11 and taking the best tackle left on the board. If you want a more popular pick you can take the best receiver in this year’s draft Jaxon Smith-Nijigba. I think Smith- Nijigba is the best receiver in this draft and it looks like this draft is thin on receivers so I think that this would be a fine pick. For the last several weeks rumors have been swirling that the titans are interested in trading up for a quarterback. Bryce Young and CJ Stroud are the only two quarterbacks I’m interested in. If one of them is on the board at 3, Ran Carthon needs to pick up the phone and give Monti Ossenfort a call. I’ve heard and seen that Hooker is a good quarterback but I’m not completely sold on him as of now. I’ve much rather go all in for a franchise guy in round one than taking a shot on a quarterback in the later rounds. Anthony Richardson put up a monster show at the combine which has drastically increased his draft stock. As great of a show that Richardson put up I think he is a project and I would not prefer to trade up for him. If he fell to us at 11 and we select him fine, it is what it is. Will Levis I’m simply not interested, even at 11. I’ve much rather we take a tackle or receiver (Smith-Nijigba). I’ve got nothing against the guy but I just can’t trust him enough and would rather go another direction.
During the 2023 NFL draft next week if we come away with CJ Stroud or Bryce Young I’ll be ecstatic, if we get Jaxon Smith-Nijigba I’ll be very happy and if we get a tackle I’ll be completely fine with that as well.