Mike Vrabel begins his second offseason as head coach of the Tennessee Titans. Could the franchise take aim at these five players come mid-March?
For the third consecutive year, the Tennessee Titans finished with a 9-7 record. That means the team based in Nashville is a combined 27-21 since 2016. It’s really a far cry for a club that from a franchise that produced a cumulative 18-46 mark the previous four seasons (2012-15). The club’s three consecutive winning campaigns is the team’s best stretch since the days of the Houston Oilers (1987-93).
But despite some modest success, the Titans have now missed the playoffs two of the past three years. The club has not won a division title since 2008, which is also the last time Tennessee won at least 10 games. Call it a rut of sorts. At the moment, the team has some room to play with salary-cap wise (via Spotrac). So could these five suggestions in terms of free-agent addition help Mike Vrabel’s squad?
5. OLB Shaquil Barrett (Denver Broncos)
Only seven teams in the league gave up fewer total yards than the Titans this past season. And under their latest defensive coordinator in Dean Pees, the club ranked sixth in the NFL in fewest passing yards per game. But a closer look at the Tennessee defense in ’18 shows that this unit was wildly inconsistent. Mike Vrabel’s club allowed a very-respectable 303 points in 16 games. But the Titans allowed 186 of those points (26.6 average) in their seven setbacks. In those losses, the club allowed 13 TD passes and managed only nine sacks – that compared to 30 QB traps while surrendering only eight scoring tosses in their nine victories.
Veteran outside linebacker Brian Orakpo has retired and bookend teammate/nine-year pro Derrick Morgan comes off a down season and may very well test free agency. Talented Shaquil Barrett (14 sacks the past 4 seasons) could be the first of several moves by the team this offseason in addressing a linebacking corps that could also use a little more depth overall.