There’s Still One Final Piece to Titans Offensive Puzzleby Joe Heller June 7, 2021 0 comments
The Tennessee Titans acquired seven-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Julio Jones from the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. The price for Jones was inexpensive for the potential reward of adding a playmaker of his caliber to the offense. Titans fans were likely too excited to sleep last night, after months of speculation, even the most optimistic ones still had trouble believing it at first.
It is an offense that already has a playmaking receiver in third-year wideout A.J. Brown, and the same offense that possesses two-year reigning NFL Rushing Champion Derrick Henry. Then there is the rejuvenated quarterback in Ryan Tannehill, who has been as close to mistake-free as there is since taking the reins of this unit six games into the 2019 season.
The offense is stacked, and the addition of Jones makes them that much more scary. Many on social media were comparing them to possibly the scariest offense in the NFL, the Kansas City Chiefs. But there’s one more piece that would put the Titans offense further over the top and maybe (at least on paper) better than the aforementioned reigning back-to-back AFC champs.
The Missing Piece?
Losing tight end Jonnu Smith and what he provided has left a void. The Titans did re-sign their reliable third down tight end Anthony Firkser, but a reasonable question is whether he can be an every down tight end.
There is one guy rumored to be on his current team’s trading block that would be the final piece that would make this an even more epic offseason for Titans general manager Jon Robinson. The Philadelphia Eagles are reportedly shopping Pro Bowl tight end Zach Ertz. Given the way the Eagles, (like most teams) have done in the past, they would rather him go to the AFC if at all possible, unless there was a deal too good to pass up.
Ertz, when healthy, is a top-five tight end. Like Jones, he is on the plus side of 30, which more often than not means his best years are behind him. but being the cost for Jones was rather cheap, the Titans could send the Eagles a few picks in return for Ertz. Low risk, high reward deals are almost no-brainers.
The downside of acquiring another Pro Bowl caliber player is when it comes to re-signing or extending their contracts. With the salary cap expected to increase next season they could make it work.
While the offense looks to be explosive whether they can acquire a guy like Ertz or not, the defense has struggled particularly in the pass rush in the second level, allowing opposing quarterbacks time to make plays against them. Which makes this move that much more paramount. The more points they can score on offense the easier the defense’s job is.
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