Start with the origin story, stay for the trade ideas.
The State of Placebo continues …
The Tennessee Titans have once again gotten themselves in a pickle. After going 7-10 last season (2022) the Titans didn’t get the memo that a rebuild was needed. It should have been evident after their playoff loss to the Bengals, as well as the fashion in which their 2022 season unraveled for them.
MY Mentions are jokes but they never give me the FACTS …
If it’s not already well-known, I’m what one would consider a dedicated problem solver of all things roster building, specifically with the Titans. I’m sure some readers just looove that realization but it’s the truth. I get it. Most fans (supporters) think they know what to do. The only difference between me and them, however, is I’ve worked in the sports field and have invested substantial time, building my prowess. I also keep documentation (receipts) and proof of all my takes/evaluations for a decade plus.
In my 6th annual mock off-season report, that has ranged from 7K to 33K words before, I mention in great detail how and why the Titans should’ve started the rebuild process during the off-season and not 7 months later.
You can check that document out here. https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vTCPQVTmp08y2fiQIjY0KfN-ituHhCZbeaeAzo-UWR0xMCFmpMYsCb81mzsoR-rwoGqIeXjqXUGp089/pub
There’s a difference between a blueprint and a framework. I believe my Titans Off-Season Reports are frameworks. You don’t have to do everything to a T like the concept of a blueprint. But you want to understand the gist of where I’m coming from. Direction, archetype, vision.
Now here we are at the end of October, watching a billion dollar organization playing catch up when they have someone in their market who is serious about player evaluation and team building, that suggested to do all of this earlier.
Why earlier? There’s a myriad of reasons, releasing/trading Tannehill gives you the cap space to build your offensive line properly and if released, you’d receive a compensatory pick that would beat any round consideration that a team would be willing to give up right now.
On top of that report, I go live on X when the Titans pick during the draft. My haul included WRs Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Jonathan Mingo, RB De’Von Achane, swing OL Jordan McFadden, iOL Luke Wypler, and S/LB Trey Dean III. I’m certain most people who were unfamiliar with the names in this draft class don’t know those guys outside of a few but they all had great preseasons and are coveted pieces on the teams they were selected to. And there’s no reason to believe they wouldn’t be producing on this barren Titans roster to date. Not only that, but a youth movement like this saves the franchise money and also gives a fanbase hope and something to look forward to.
A chance to truly “grow up” with a roster hasn’t been in Nashville for at least 7 seasons and it hasn’t been done successfully for 20 plus years. I’m constantly growing, along with the evolution of the game, while continuing to have the historical context of a team I’ve watched since inception, it’s a competitive advantage that no other team has. Pair that with the competence, passion, and skillset and that’s rare to have right in your own backyard.
THANK YOU KB!!!
Titans have already traded Kevin Byard. I’m on the opposite spectrum with that evaluation. I believe Kevin Byard has at minimum, one more Pro Bowl level season in him. With that being said, he deserved to be compensated as such. But at this point, after all of the aforementioned options that the Titans didn’t do, it made sense IF that was the best available deal. I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the preferred location by Byard himself. This is depending on the future draft selections, but player for player, I’d grade the Byard trade as a C-. Not a fan of Edmunds but I’m open to what he can produce in a quarters scheme and being the more athletic box safety out of the group of defensive backs. My counter deals would be a trade to Detroit for DB Tracy Walker III or New York Jets for S Adrian Amos or S Tony Adams. The draft picks (5th/6th rounders) are right on par with value in this current market.
REGARDLESS of how many more wins this team reels off, trading Kevin Byard 100% should signal Titans as sellers as the trade deadline approaches.
KRISTIAN FULTON is probably not as bad as he seems but he’s also probably not a part of this rebuild. So get what you can from the situation.
If that’s the case, I’d try to get anything for Kristian Fulton OR play him sparingly but truly put him in advantageous situations for the remainder of the year because a lot of people may be surprised at what attention he may garner in free agency. It’s an underwhelming corner group (outside of a few ballers), and somebody has to get paid. Teams may bet on the younger Fulton, and Titans could get a compensatory pick for him. I’ve seen crazier things. Teams that may be interested: Chargers, Cowboys, Falcons, Panthers, Rams, and Vikings. I’ve heard Ravens as well. Swapping him straight up for players like Kaiir Elam or Marcus Peters would be low risk seeing as though one is a player that needs reps anyway (around the same level of play as Fulton though) and the other, a veteran on the way out. The Giants/Patriots/Raiders have an interesting DB group, too, with Darnay Holmes, Cor’Dale Flott, Myles Bryant, Shaun Wade, Jalen Mills and Amik Robertson. If you’re not into player for player swaps, I doubt a team would give anymore than a 6th or 7th for Fulton.
OPEN FOR BUSINESS
The sign outside of Ascension Saint Thomas Sports Park should read, “OPEN FOR BUSINESS!”
I’d accept calls from any and everybody.
D-HOP the LION?
I’d listen to offers and shop DeAndre Hopkins. I wanted Hopkins 10 years ago when he was in the draft. (Yes, I can still find the tweet.) His Clemson tape is probably the best WR tape I’ve watched. But I knew that ship had sailed based on my vision for this team moving forward. A 1st RD WR’s salary for 2023? $2.6M. D-Hop’s? $12M. It was mathematics. Detroit might finally bite after getting shellacked by Baltimore. You have to get a Top 100-150 pick out of this transaction.
DENICO AUTRY? BU ALUMNI: STAYING OR GOING?
(Denico Autry along with Nick Folk (MVP) was in my 2021 Titans off-season plan hence the Alumni shoutout.) Because of age, I’d doubt a team makes a move for Denico Autry but it’s plausible he’s coveted by teams looking to win now. The Bengals, Bills, Colts (possible but unlikely) Rams, Saints or even the Seahawks could come a-calling. You’d expect anywhere from a 5th-7th for his talent despite his age.
COULD I INTEREST YOU in a former ACC Edge Rusher and a Big 10 TE?
No one is talking about these two players, but Harold Landry and Chig Okonkwo are players that haven’t looked like themselves this season. Tennessee is known for making the undersized TE a thing like no other team in the NFL, but Chig has not looked good at all. Almost all of his production has come on schemed concepts (not pure progression) to use his YAC ability, but he’s had some drops, and he provides close to nothing as a blocker. As for Landry, he’s of course he’s coming off of injury, but it’s something to think about because he is a player that was signed to a large contract by a previous regime. Now watch, right on cue they suddenly turn it on and make the most of their opportunities. We shall see. Dennis Gardeck and Carl Lawson would be solid band-aid pickups that have the potential to be more. Either could be had for late round picks, preferably 7th rounders.
Teams were reportedly calling about Burks. I just don’t see a world where the Titans part ways with the former first round pick without asking for a 1st round or 2nd round pick in return or a player with similar potential. He’s almost treated like the leftovers from a bad deal, in which the Titans were forced to draft him, to replace the skillset they traded away. WR George Pickens was considered too rich at pick 18 last year by most. I was close to leaning that way as well, but Burks is still a big body wideout with enough speed and physicality to separate and dominate. He needs more opportunities near the line of scrimmage and get easy touches to get him going. He can be sloppy with his overall dexterity and movement. He needs to start moving with more precision and efficiency. We’ll see what he can do to close out the season. He’ll always be compared to A.J. Brown, the best he can do is go out there and be reliable and consistent.
DERRICK HENRY – Brown or Buc?
Derrick Henry would keep this team watchable if he stayed but he deserves the same opportunity as Byard. I also believe Henry has more left in the tank than most pundits are chirping. No, the NFL isn’t entirely a passing league and no Tyjae Spears’ emergence doesn’t mean you need less Henry. He has one of the most unique skillsets in the NFL and December is usually his time to shine. Of all the players rumored to be traded on this roster, this is the guy I wouldn’t mind keeping. However, if you’re not going to extend him, The Browns would be a good fit. Or if he wants to return to his home state the Buccaneers make sense too. I would need at least one Top 100-150 pick whether it be in 2024 or 2025.
This article wasn’t to self-promote or even bash the Titans. I respect what every party is attempting to do. I tell the truth. I did the work, and I don’t work hard for no reason (no one does) so I’m sharing my thought process throughout this whole situation.
SEE YOU ON THE NEXT ONE
STAY TUNED for my next article. I’ll share a surprise trade candidate.
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