The Tennessee Titans: Winners or losers in free agency?


We’re two weeks into free agency and already, several NFL pundits have been highly critical of the moves (and non-moves) of the Tennessee Titans.

Mike Reinfeldt and Co. have been bashed for allowing all-world defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth to abandon the Titans’ ship. Others are less than impressed by the team’s decision to make Kerry Collins $15 million richer via his new, two-year contract.

Despite addressing needs with the signings of Nate Washington and Jovan Haye, those acquisitions have also received their share of scrutiny.

Are the numerous NFL armchair general managers right? Have the Tennessee Titans dropped the ball with their free agency decisions?

No Haynesworth, no chance?

Here’s a sampling of what others have had to say about the departure of Fat Albert:

Tom Torrisi
PA SportsTicker Pro Football Editor

“Haynesworth got obscene dollars, so the Titans could hardly afford to match it, but his signing is a huge loss nonetheless.”

Wes SueveNew Era Scouting

“The Titans lost the staple of their defense — and their team. Without Albert Haynesworth, Tennessee wouldn’t have had the same success that they did last season.”

I was hoping that Haynesworth would re-sign with the Titans, but there are approximately 100 million reasons why this didn’t take place.

All due respect to Mr. Sueve, but Big Al wasn’t the only engine behind the Titans’ success last year. Sure, Albert was literally and figuratively a big factor in last year’s playoff run but don’t forget about the presence of guys such as Chris Johnson, Cortland Finnegan and even Kerry Collins; players who will all be returning to Nashville next year.

Re-signing Kerry Collins

Speaking of Kerry Collins, Tom Torrisi had the following to say about the team’s decision to re-sign KC:

“Giving geriatric Kerry Collins a two-year deal at $15 million was a stretch…”

Collins was a big factor in the Titans’ 2008 success. His veteran poise and leadership in the huddle would have been hard to replace if the Titans hadn’t re-signed him.

Money aside, the decision to bring Kerry back was hardly a stretch.

Haye and Washington getting “rave” reviews

Yes, I’m being sarcastic by suggesting that some pundits have been thrilled by Titans’ free agenct signings so far. This is how some of them really feel about Haye and Washington:

New Era Scouting

“All the Titans have done to fill the huge void Haynesworth left is sign Jovan Haye of the Buccaneers. Haye is no where near the run stuffer Haynesworth is. The Titans dropped the ball big time.”

PA Sports Ticker

“They better hope Nate Washington can make the transition to a starting wide receiver.” 

Jovan Haye isn’t a run-stuffer: he’s a smallish guy known more for his ability to get after opposing quarterbacks. I actually agree that the Titans could use another run-stuffing DT, but instead of unrealistically expecting Haye to fill that role, I’m hopeful that a behemoth such as Ron Brace will be selected on draft day.

As for Washington, despite his inability to crack his former employer’s starting lineup, he does bring the dimensions of speed and athleticism to a Titan team desperately in need of a guy who can stretch the field and make plays at the WR position.

Tennessee Titans: Winners or losers in free agency?

To answer the question that I posed in the title of this article, I think it’s a little premature to evaluate the team’s decisions in the form of a grade.

Unlike other free-spending ballclubs, the Titans’ modus operandi is the second wave of free agency, so you’ll likely see a few more signings over the course of the next couple of weeks that should impact any objective individual’s opinion of the Titans’ moves.

Therefore, at least from the perspective of this armchair general manager, it’s too early to consider the Titans as winners or losers at free agency’s two-week mark.

For now, I’ll give them an incomplete grade.  

What do you think? How would you assess the Titans’ offseason moves thus far?   


10 Responses to “The Tennessee Titans: Winners or losers in free agency?”

  1. i.jason Says:

    I find it interesting that everyone says Haye is not a run-stuffer. Drex did up a piece a while back that had the scouting report on Haye from the Tampa Bay guys. I quote:
    Haye is an excellent run defender. He does a good job at the point of attack of shedding his blocker and making a tackle. In 2008, Haye was an essential part in the Bucs defense having great success against the run in the first nine games. When Haye and defensive tackle Chris Hovan played injured in the final four games the run defense was abysmal.”
    No, he’s not a huge body, and he doesn’t clog the middle like Albert did, but if he can be effective by shedding blocks and being in the right place, then he’s effective at stopping the run.
    I think drafting an impact, wide-body DT to work into the rotation this year is still a good idea, mind you, but this constant refrain that because Haye put up big sack numbers in 2007, and because he’s not 300+ lbs he can’t possibly be a good run stopper is both annoying and uninformed.
    I’m looking forward to the first 6 games of the season, when opposing O-lines figure Al’s gone so they can focus on doubling KVB, and Haye starts racking up big numbers as he gets free and/or they decide to run at him and he gets off the blocks. It won’t last, of course, but I’m betting (assuming good health) Haye looks like a monster pick-up for the first 6 games.

  2. Andrew K Says:

    The Rams just cut Torry Holt:
    I think we need to pick this guy up for something around a 3 year deal.

  3. Andrew Strickert Says:

    I agree that it’s too early at this point to determine how the Titans fared in free agency.
    Regarding Holt, Drexel wrote this about him in February:

  4. Drexel Perry Says:

    According to the National Football Post, the Titans attempted to trade for Holt yesterday, but the deal fell apart due to Holt’s refusal to restructure his contract:

  5. Bob Loblaw Says:

    The Titans’ free agent decisions – the guys they have let go, the guys they have brought in and the guys they have passed on – have been universally panned for the past few years. Ultimately they have ended up looking pretty good, so I wouldn’t rush to judgement on their decisions this offseason.

  6. Dave Says:

    The Titans have tendered an offer to Jarrett Bush ( GB CB).

  7. Maynard76 Says:

    I agree with Bob, aside from the salary cap dumping years, the staff seems to improve the team every season despite constant doubt from the media. I have grown to trust their decisions even when they aren’t popular.

  8. David H... Says:

    Sign Torry Holt now!!!!!

  9. Bob Loblaw Says:

    I doubt that Holt will sign with the Titans given that he wouldn’t restructure his previous deal to come here.

  10. Eston S Says:

    How is he the staple of the d when he hardly played.
    Seems to me well be just as good if not better with a younger guy in their starting playing most if not all of the game. Cant forget we still have kearse vanden bosch and cortland finnegan. should be a great d next year

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