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VOL. 44 | NO. 5 | Friday, January 31, 2020

Titans free agents: From ‘top priorities’ to ‘time to move on’

By Terry McCormick

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The Tennessee Titans have 18 unrestricted free agents and one restricted free agent in Tye Smith. All will be on the free agent market come March unless extensions are signed or the Titans use the franchise or transition tag on one or two of them.

Let’s break down the list of free agents into four categories in terms of their importance for the 2020 season.

Top priorities

RB Derrick Henry, QB Ryan Tannehill, RT Jack Conklin, CB Logan Ryan.

Henry and Tannehill are must-haves here in this category. The offense runs through Henry, and Tannehill – despite the lingering Tom Brady rumors – would seem to have solidified himself as the Titans quarterback of the near future.

Conklin and Ryan are both valuable assets. Of the two, Conklin might find greener pastures elsewhere, given that he is just entering the prime of his career.

Good to have

OT Dennis Kelly, OLB Kamalei Correa, CB MyCole Pruitt, LB Daren Bates.

Kelly is a good fill-in tackle, but probably isn’t a 16-game option if Conklin exits in free agency.

Correa came on later in the season, and the Titans already are short of pass rushers.

Pruitt is the Titans best-blocking tight end, and Bates’ value lies in his special teams work.

At the right price

CB Tye Smith, CB Leshaun Sims, DT Austin Johnson, LB Wesley Woodyard, CB Chris Milton, WR Tajae Sharpe.

Smith is a restricted free agent who provides good depth and special teams work. A deal lower than the restricted tender number is possible.

Johnson is a solid member of the defensive line, but the Titans might draft his replacement.

Woodyard is a solid vet, who is the consummate pro. The Titans could do worse than bringing him back for depth.

Sims is solid cornerback depth, while Milton has special teams value.

Sharpe did a nice job in his time as a possession receiver but probably lands elsewhere next year.

Time to move on

QB Marcus Mariota, CB Tramaine Brock, RB David Fluellen, G Kevin Pamphile, WR Darius Jennings.

Mariota needs a fresh start elsewhere and should eventually get a chance to start again.

Brock’s aborted strip of Patrick Mahomes probably seals his fate in Titans lore.

Fluellen had trouble staying healthy.

Pamphile never found a role on the o-line, and Jennings will move on as Kalif Raymond has supplanted him.

Super Bowl prediction

The San Francisco 49ers have shown all season they are the most solid team in the league. The Kansas City Chiefs, making their first Super Bowl appearance in 50 years, are riding in on the exploits of Patrick Mahomes and a high-powered offense that is fresh off ending the Titans playoff hopes.

This game probably comes down to a couple of things:

Can the Chiefs’ offensive line hold up against the Niners defensive front and protect Mahomes, who also – as the Titans found out – can do damage with his legs.

How well will Jimmy Garoppolo do on football’s biggest stage.

Garoppolo threw just eight passes in the NFC Championship Game as the 49ers rolled past Green Bay. The Chiefs defense has improved of late and must put more of the game in Jimmy G’s hands rather than get run over the way the Packers defense were.

Prediction: Chiefs 31, 49ers 27

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