Tennessee Titans Trade Deadline Previewby Joe Heller October 23, 2021 1 comment
Coming into the 2021 NFL season, the Tennessee Titans were looking to build off last season’s AFC South Division Title. The Titans have lacked a consistent pass rush and a secondary to back it up. The offense, outside of Derrick Henry, has struggled to stay healthy. A.J. Brown and offseason acquisition Julio Jones have struggled with hamstring issues. Since the loss to the lowly New York Jets, Tennessee has found a spark, however.
The defense has looked better in spurts, especially against the high-powered Buffalo Bills offense. While they played far from a mistake-free game, they got a critical stop when they needed it, sealing the game with a goal-line stop. With their schedule including the Kansas City Chiefs, Indianapolis Colts, Los Angeles Rams, and New Orleans Saints over the next month, the time is now to make a deal or two.
Make sure to check out all of our other NFL Trade Deadline Previews.
The Titans Current Status
Current Record: 4-2
Division Standings: First in the AFC South
In the Playoff Picture: Yes
Buyers or Sellers: Buyers
Current NFL Draft Slot: 23rd Overall
Potential Trade #1: 2022 first-round pick and 2023 second-round pick to the Miami Dolphins for Xavien Howard and 2022 second-round pick
The Dolphins trading away Howard is one of the highly speculated moves of this year’s deadline. Prior to the Titans losing rookie cornerback Caleb Farley for the season on Monday, the only question was what a legitimate landing spot could be. The Titans’ need could allow the Dolphins to demand a higher return. This after the Titans could’ve had made a run a Stephon Gilmore, who was on the New England Patriots, before ultimately getting sent to the Carolina Panthers for a sixth-round pick. A much cheaper cost than what landing Howard will likely take in the coming days.
Miami has a history of trading away top-tier defensive backs (Minkah Fitzpatrick to the Pittsburgh Steelers comes to mind). This past offseason, Howard wanted a new contract and threatened to hold out. The two sides ultimately came to a compromise for this season. With a promise to return to talks in the offseason, which given their 1-5 start to the season, Miami may very well decide that conversation is another team’s to have.
Potential Trade #2: 2022 fourth and fifth-round picks to the Philadelphia Eagles for Darius Slay
Slay, maybe one of the few pieces defensively that get the Eagles’ interest from teams that have secondary needs, and that could get them something of value in return. Any part of his three-year deal worth 50 million dollars, in which he’s currently in the second year of, would be a hard contract for the Titans to take on.
The Eagles are struggling and while they are still in the hunt, trailing the Dallas Cowboys by just three games, this season, they may be looking to unload a piece or two to add to their draft capital. Which in turn they will likely use to address their offensive line, which has struggled to stay healthy. Slay would be an immediate improvement to the secondary after the loss of Farley and second-year corner Kristian Fulton who has battled injuries throughout his brief NFL career. So far this season, Slay has allowed just seven catches and 68 combined yards to Calvin Ridley, Brandon Aiyuk, Amari Cooper, Mike Evans, Tyreek Hill, and D.J. Moore, through six games.
Potential Trade #3: 2022 third and sixth-round picks to the Washington Football Team for William Jackson III
Jackson, who signed a big free-agent contract, has not had much of an impact for the Football Team this year. That has been more to blame on a bad pass defense, led by a lackluster pass rush. A pass rush that a season ago was among the top in the league. The Titans could have gone after him on the open market, but opted for Janoris Jenkins, instead. General Manager Jon Robinson would get a rare second chance at adding Jackson, and would likely jump on it. Jackson would be a viable option to help sure up a hole on the back end.
Being the likely third option, the Titans would need to make another move to make the improvement a drastic one. In his first season with Washington, Jackson has allowed 18 catches on 35 targets with just one interception, while allowing four touchdowns, This matches the same number he allowed all of last season over 14 games. Having an All-Pro caliber safety in Kevin Byard, to back him up Jackson will be able to take chances as he did with the Cincinnati Bengals.
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