Tennessee Titans 2022 Offseason Preview

Tennessee Titans 2022 Offseason Preview

by February 27, 2022 0 comments

The Tennessee Titans won 12 games during the 2021 season. This led them to secure their second consecutive AFC South title. The team also earned the top seed in the AFC for the first time since 2008. Once again, one of the game’s elite rushing attacks, the Titans finished second in the league in rush yards per game with over 140 averaged per contest. Led by superstar running back Derrick Henry, the group also received significant contributions from D’Onta Foreman and Jeremy McNichols after Henry suffered a foot injury. Much improved on the defensive side of the ball, Shane Bowen’s unit finished second in the NFL in rush yards allowed per contest. Furthermore, they also finished 10th in the NFL in team sacks with 43.

Make sure to check out all of our other NFL Offseason Previews.

Pending Free Agents

According to Over the Cap, the Titans are $8.3 million over the cap. After being disappointingly knocked off by the Cincinnati Bengals in the Divisional Round of the playoffs, Tennessee heads into the offseason with question marks. Home to one of the top rosters in the game, the team currently has 28 players who are set to hit free agency. Led by their star center in Ben Jones, the 32-year-old will be looking for a significant raise after another outstanding campaign. In addition to this, linebacker Jayon Brown, tight end Anthony Firkser, and pass rusher Harold Landry are all on expiring contracts. Breaking out in 2021 in his fourth year in the league, Landry recorded a career-high in tackles (75), sacks (12), and quarterback hits (22).

Ben Jones

Jones was once again a staple for the Titan’s offensive line in his tenth season in the league. Appearing in all 17 games during the regular season, he enjoyed a stellar campaign. Playing more than 1,000 snaps on offense, the former fourth-round pick surrendered just one sack against in pass protection. Along with this, he committed just five penalties. Inking a two-year extension with the franchise before the start of the 2020 season, the University of Georgia alumni currently had a cap hit of $7.25 million last year. A beloved member and a leader in the team’s locker room look for them to ink him to an extension before the start of free agency.

Harold Landry

A second-round pick during the 2018 NFL Draft, Landry enjoyed the best season of his young career in 2021. A vital piece to Tennessee’s pass rush, the outside linebacker finished tenth in the NFL with 12 quarterback takedowns while recording one forced fumble. This led him to make the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career. Helping the team harass Joe Burrow during their playoff game, the Boston College product recorded 1.5 sacks and six tackles while making plays all over the field. Expected to have no shortage of suitors if he hits the open market, Landry should get a significant raise from his rookie deal.

Anthony Firkser

A favorite target of quarterback Ryan Tannehill in the passing game, Firkser played second fiddle to Jonnu Smith over the past three seasons. Given a chance to start for the group in 2021, the 27-year-old largely underachieved. Recording just 34 catches, he posted just 291 receiving yards for a disappointing 6.8 yards per target. Along with this, he also had to block more in Todd Downing’s offense, leading him to struggle mightily. This led him to eventually be bumped to the bench in favor of Geoff Swaim and MyCole Pruitt. Needing to get more dynamic at the position after losing Smith to the New England Patriots look for the franchise to explore their options on the open market

Potential Cap Casualties

The Titans are up against the cap this offseason. This will leave them with some interesting decisions as they look to cut and restructure players to free up money. Knocking on the door of advancing to the Super Bowl over the last few years, the team is just two years removed from going to the AFC Championship game. With an estimated $60 million available to be freed up if the franchise chooses to convert multiple deals into prorated signing bonuses, the group can also cut multiple aging veterans with the hopes of upgrading at various positions in free agency and the draft.

Janoris Jenkins ($6.9 Million Saved)

Jenkins inked a two-year deal with Tennessee before the start of last season. In March, he signed with the team after the New Orleans Saints released him. Seen as a potential replacement for Malcolm Butler in the secondary, the 33-year-old improved down the stretch after underwhelming early on. He finished the year with 54 tackles, six pass breakups, and one interception in 13 starts. Set to count for $10.1 million against the cap in 2022, the franchise drafted Caleb Farley in the first round of last year’s draft with the vision of him being their top corner of the future. With the chance to be brought back as an insurance policy, the franchise needs to get under the cap, making him an expendable option.

Rodger Saffold ($10.4 Million Saved)

Saffold will enter the final year of his contract with the group. He had an up and down campaign after making the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career last season. Battling injuries all year long, the 33-year-old suffered a shoulder ailment while also missing two games with COVID-19. Currently carrying the seventh highest cap hit on the team heading into 2022, the veteran guard has a $12.1 million charge if he is on the roster. One of the best run-blocking offensive linemen in the game, the St. Louis Rams draft pick has played an essential role in helping the team become one of the best rushing attacks. However, with Aaron Brewer penciled in as a potential replacement, Saffold could be a cap casualty.

Julio Jones ($1.1 Million Saved)

Jones was the biggest disappointment for the team and one of the most significant disasters league-wide last year. He was brought in as a replacement for Corey Davis after the former fifth overall pick departed for the New York Jets. Struggling to stay on the field all year season long, the veteran wideout appeared in just 10 games. This was the third-lowest total of his career. Unable to make an impact when on the field, he posted just 31 receptions for 434 yards and one touchdown. With two years remaining on his deal, the longtime Atlanta Falcon has multiple void years after that. Currently carrying a $13.2 million cap hit if he becomes released before June 1, the number drops to just $4.8 million if he is cut after.

Open Market Free Agent Targets

With free agency set to open in just over three weeks, one of the busiest times on the NFL calendars is here. General manager Jon Robinson will have his work cut out for him during that time. He needs to keep adding pieces to one of the game’s best and most experienced rosters while also retaining his own players. With a few positions of need, the most glaring spots that need to be addressed for the Titans are tight end, wide receiver, and along the offensive line. Along with this, the team could also look to add at the Edge spot. Furthermore, if the group finds a replacement for Tannehill, the franchise could look to move off their longtime starter after he struggled in the team’s playoff loss.

David Njoku, Cleveland Browns

Tennessee enters the free agency period with no real tight ends on their 53 man roster. Swain, Firkser, and Pruitt are all on expiring deals and will be looking for new contracts. Needing to upgrade and get more dynamic at the spot, Njoku would provide the group with a dynamic threat at a low cost. A former first-round pick of the Browns in 2018, the 25-year-old has set to become the player that Cleveland fans thought they were getting. Splitting time with Austin Hooper and Harrison Bryant in 2021, he recorded 36 catches for 475 yards and four touchdowns. In need of a change of scenery, he is a strong fit for the team’s offense due to his ability to catch passes and run block.

Christian Kirk, Arizona Cardinals

Looking to add more pass catchers, the Titans will have a big decision to make regarding the status of Jones. Struggling to garner any production outside of star-wideout A.J. Brown last season, Kirk would provide the team with a versatile threat. A four-year starter with the Cardinals, he has improved every year since arriving in the NFL. Capped off by the best season of his young career in 2021, the Texas A&M alumn hauled in 77 passes for 982 yards and five touchdowns. He averaged 12.8 yards per reception. Set to get a substantial raise on the open market, if the team chooses to target him, it will require some creative accounting from the front office in order to clear the necessary space.

Jacob Martin, Houston Texans

In need of depth at the edge spot, Landry is a free agent after a monster 2021 campaign. Along with this, rotational pass rusher Olasunkanmi Adeniyi is looking for a new deal. He should get a raise on the open market after racking up 2.5 sacks and 21 tackles in 2021. Martin has been productive for the Texans after being traded to the team for Jadeveon Clowney. The 26-year-old has racked up 10.5 sacks over the last three seasons combined. He has also earned grades of 67.3, 53.8, and 56.5 from Pro Football Focus. A player who will not break the bank for the team, the former sixth-round pick would be a strong value signing as a pass-rushing specialist.

Previewing the 2022 NFL Draft

Tennessee will hold the 26th pick in the upcoming NFL draft. This was by virtue of their Divisional Round loss to the Bengals in the postseason. Without their second-round selection, the team shipped it off to the Falcons in the Jones trade. This means they will hold just the 90th choice in the third round on day two. Rounding out their draft, the team projects to make five picks on the third and final day of the draft. With needs at wide receiver, tight end, edge, quarterback, and offensive line, Robinson and company could choose to go a variety of ways with their first selection. A deep receiver class, the longtime general manager, could add a pass catcher on day one while addressing the offensive line on Saturday.

Round 1, Pick 26: Wide Receiver

The Titans need to add another pass catcher in the offseason. They struggled to move the ball through the air at points in 2021. Without Brown for a chunk of the year, the team ranked just 24th in the NFL in passing yards per contest with just 201.1 averaged per game. Along with this, the group ranked 15th in the league in points per matchup at 24.6. With a major decision looming on Jones, the franchise could use a legitimate number two threat to role coverage away from their star wideout. While Nick Westbrook-Ikhine and Chester Rogers are nice depth pieces, spending first-round capital on the position would go a long way to improving their passing attack.

Round 3, Pick 90: Offensive Line

Heading into the offseason with some question marks along their offensive line, the team needs to get younger. Jones could hit the free-agent market and will command significant dollars on his next deal. Along with this, Saffold could be a potential cap casualty with a massive cap number attached to his name for next season. While Dillon Radunz projects as a starter for the team along the interior, last year’s second-round pick could also play tackle if the franchise chooses to move off Taylor Lewan eventually. This means it would be smart business for the franchise to address the position group early in the draft while adding some building blocks for the future.

Early 2022 Expectations

Tennessee is home to one of the elite rosters around the NFL. The Titans will be among the premier teams in the league again next season. The team is looking to win their third consecutive AFC South division crown. Along with this, they are currently listed at +1200 to reach the AFC Championship game while also holding +2200 odds to win the Super Bowl. The franchise will have their star rusher in Henry back next year to provide a significant boost. However, they need to add more offensive playmakers if they hope to keep up with the other high-powered passing attacks in the conference. Furthermore, they need to keep adding defensive playmakers to help out their surging unit.


Check us out on our socials:   
Twitter: @PTSTNews and @TalkPrimeTime
Facebook Page: Prime Time Sports Talk
Join our Facebook Group: Prime Time Sports Talk 
Instagram: @primetimesportstalk

Follow Chris Gallagher on Twitter @ChrisGally06

Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images

No Comments so far

Jump into a conversation

No Comments Yet!

You can be the one to start a conversation.

Leave a Reply