The quest for pass-rushing help is on for the Tennessee Titans.
The question is where do they get it? Do they spend huge in free agency, big free agency, modestly in free agency or roll the dice and draft someone?
Why is the need for a pass rusher so dire? Have you seen Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson?
Yes, those are the guys in the Titans way and they have to find a way to get quick heat on both of them without blitzing every time and leaving corners on an unimaginable island.
Today we are talking free agents and while the good news is there are a lot of them, the bad news is they virtually all look expensive.
Spotrac.com is one of my favorite websites because not only does it have cap and salary information, but now it also projects the market value for free agents. No, this is not a locked-in number, but it does give us a ballpark figure as we attempt to talk about players.
The other part of this the Titans have to decide is do they want a defensive end or an outside linebacker? For me, I’m looking for a tag team partner for Harold Landry, but there are some good ends out there.
Defense Ends & 2020 Market Value per Spotrac.com
- Yannick Ngakoue – $17.1-Million
- Chris Jones – $19.2-Million
- Leonard Williams – $8.2-Million
- Shelby Harris – $12.3-Million
- Shaq Lawson – $7.6-Million
Ngakoue and Jones are both monsters and I expect the Jaguars and Chiefs to do everything to keep them. Ngakoue has 30 sacks over the last 3 years and Jones 31.
Here is the move to watch, if they are in play, do the Titans move on from a 30-year old Jurrell Casey who has only 18 sacks over the last 3 years? They could free up about $10-million in cap space if they waived Casey. I know this is probably not a popular scenario, but if they want a younger and at this point more productive pass rusher this could be in play.
Williams had .5 sacks last year. That’s .5, not 5. In a contract year that is just dismal.
Harris has 13 sacks over the last 3 years with 6 last season. I don’t see that as worth the projected price tag, but hey, not my money.
Lawson could offer good value. He may not be popular with Taylor Lewan but 4,4 and 6.5 sacks over the last 3 years does not show domination but it does show some ability to get to the QB each year. Enough for my money, nope, but again, it is not mine.
Outside Linebackers & 2020 Maket Value per Spotrac.com
- Jadeveon Clowney – $20-Million
- Dante Fowler Jr.- $16.6-Milion
- Bud DuPree – $16.6-Million
- Matthew Judon – $16.3-Million
- Markus Golden – $13.5-Million
- Kamalei Correa – No Value Given
Spending their money at OLB would seem to make a lot more sense, especially with Harold Landry still having two more years left on his rookie deal.
Clowney’s price is massive. He indicated after the Seahawks season ended he is more interested in winning than a big payday, but does that mean he signs for $18-19-million a year instead of 20? That is still a huge number for the Titans to bite off, but with his ties to Mike Vrabel I continue to think it is possible.
Fowler, DuPree, and Judon are very interesting because their prices are simliar and so is their production. All of them have 23-24 sacks over the last three years. Judon looks like the most consistent of the three, but Baltimore could franchise him to keep him in house after losing ZaDarius Smith.
Let me jump on board the Bud DuPree bandwagon. By the way, it is his 27th birthday today. I like his size at 6-4, 270 pounds. So he can get to the QB and still set the edge. Dupree is coming off of a career year with 11.5 sacks which could overly inflate his price or it could be just a sign that he is peaking. That is what Jon Robinson gets the big bucks to figure out.
Turron Davenport from ESPN.com is all about Markus Golden from the New York Giants. Golden had 10 sacks last season and 12.5 sacks three years ago with the Arizona Cardinals, so he is no one-hit-wonder and he is price tag is about $2 to $3-million less.
And then there is Correa who finished the year very, very strong for the Titans with 5 sacks over the last 6 games. It still is unimaginable as to why the Ravens had this guy inside. He plays with good intensity and looks like his best football is ahead. The question is how much does he cost? If the Titans draft an OLB in round one, then Correa may be the right guy to bring back at the right price.