3 early free agent targets for the 2021 offseason

The Tennessee Titans remain one of the most intriguing teams in the NFL as the 2021-22 season approaches. The AFC South franchise has enjoyed tremendous success in recent seasons, despite serious defensive problems, particularly in the 2020-21 season.

With the emergence of quarterback Ryan Tannehill, running back Derrick Henry taking the league by storm, and new receiver A.J. Brown already in the Pro Bowl, the Titans will continue to be offensive threats for years to come. However, it remains to be seen if the team’s defense – or lack thereof – will hold up as the Titans continue to look for a postseason spot and the team’s first Super Bowl title.

Although the Titans’ core on offense and defense will remain intact in 2021-22, Tennessee has many free agents to retain or replace via the free market and the 2021 NFL draft. If the Titans manage to not only close those holes, but improve on both sides of the line of scrimmage, Tennessee will once again have to be counted among the best in the AFC.

Even with a questionable defense, the Titans are just two seasons away from an AFC championship, where Tennessee also captured the AFC South title in 2020-21.

3. Matthew Jadon, setter

It’s no secret that the Tennessee Titans are the most challenged defensively, as they simply couldn’t put pressure on the passer in the 2020-21 season. By far the biggest weakness of the team last season. The Titans have yet to find a player who can service opposing quarterbacks by teaming up with setter Harold Landry III.

Although Landry III has been productive at the highest level in his first three seasons with the Titans, he can’t do it all alone. With Landry III currently the only reliable save and the experience of Jadeveon Clowney-Vic Beasley heading south for the Titans during the 2020-21 season, Tennessee should be aggressive on the free agent market this time around.

With this in mind, the Baltimore Ravens are handing the baton to Matthew Judon, who is expected to be at the top of CEO John Robinson’s list. Jadon has already produced 34.5 career sacks in 76 regular season games in his five seasons with the Ravens. He recorded six sacks in 14 regular season games last season and nine sacks in 16 regular season games in 2019-20.

While the Titans will undoubtedly spend their late pick in the first round of the 2021 NFL Entry Draft on rookie interceptions, Tennessee desperately needs to clean up their presence along the defensive front. Jadon also fits into the approach of coach Mike Vrabel, who emphasizes physical fitness and dominance on his team.

If it’s not Jadon, the Ravens – and other contenders – will certainly be there, and will obviously be a draft pick for 2021, along with a few other free agents like Cincinnati Bengals defender Carl Lawson or longtime Washington football teammate Ryan Kerrigan – among a few others.

2. Allen Robinson, Wide receiver

The Tennessee Titans had previously decided to cede their fifth overall pick to wide receiver Corey Davis, after selecting their former colleague with the fifth overall pick in 2017. That decision had to be made before the 26-year-old setter entered his fourth season as a Davis in 2020-21 in a career year – which certainly would have changed Tennessee’s mind.

However, it now looks like the Titans will have to spend a lot of money if the AFC South franchise wants to finally keep Davis. While this piece of the puzzle is important in Nashville, Davis is one of many options available to the Titans to fall back to the wide receiver position.

Along with Davis, A.J. Green, T.J. Hilton, Chris Godwin and others, Chicago Bears outfielder Allen Robinson seems to be the headliner of football for most – and for good reason. Robinson can play at eye level, even though he’s stuck in Chicago in one of the dullest and dullest leagues in the league.

As the relationship between Robinson and the Bearcats has deteriorated in recent years, it looks increasingly likely that the outstanding pass receiver will play elsewhere in 2021-22.  Although the relationship between the Bears and the Robinsons is irreparable, the veterans will have many fans in the coming months, as the Titans are expected to be aggressive here.

It should be noted that Robinson is one of the few free agents who would be a no-brainer upgrade from Davis, as he really showed his strength with the Titans. Nonetheless, Robinson has everything in place to be of great use to any team, but especially a legitimate competitor like the Titans, who just need a little help overcoming adversity.

Perhaps to round out this potential partnership, Robinson began his career as a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars, arguably the Titans’ biggest rival, while Tennessee has consistently beaten its division rivals in recent times. Robinson’s stay in Jacksonville didn’t end well either, as the future free agent will play for the Jaguars not once, but twice a season.

1. Johnnu Smith, time-out

The Tennessee Titans will try to keep at least a few agents off the team, with newest acquisition Jonnu Smith likely to join John Robinson’s team. The other two Titans, Michael Pruitt and Anthony Fierkser, are also expected to be free agents this season, so their possible absence would have made Smith’s presence all the more important to Tennessee.

Although the Titans have multiple tight ends and Tennessee has had tremendous success with this strategy, Smith has really combined it all with his versatility and athletic ability. Smith can catch passes anywhere on the field, use his size and strength to block, and sometimes even push the ball out of the backfield.

While his name isn’t well known yet, Smith is getting better with each season, as the Titans’ team is definitely on the verge of a breakthrough. Smith also regularly finds the end zone, which benefits the Titans’ entire offense, but especially the tandem of quarterback Ryan Tannehill and running back Derrick Henry, which draws attention all over the field, not to mention in the red zone.

Since the Titans have fewer tight end options than wide receiver options, they might prefer Smith over a player like Corey Davis due to the availability of free agents on the market. The most expensive option will likely be Hunter Henry of the Los Angeles Chargers, while the most expensive option will likely be Rob Gronkowski of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

In addition to Smith, Henry and Gronkowski, one interesting option is the possibility of a reunion with Jared Cook, who began his NFL career primarily with the Titans. Smith is obviously much younger than Cook and the Titans don’t necessarily need another veteran leader in the locker room, but as many young, athletic and productive players as possible.

3 early free agent targets for the 2021 offseason

frequently asked questions

Who will be a free agent in the NFL in 2021?

2021 NFL Free Agent List

What will SBC Free Agents look like in 2021?

NFL Free Agents 2021 : The top 10 quarterbacks who might be available…

Who are the next free agents in the NFL?

2021 Free Agency : NFL’s 50 Best Free Agents … – PFF

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