The Tennessee Titans made the playoffs last season but they were eliminated in the Divisional round of the playoffs by Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, ending their season earlier than they had hoped.
After the season, the Titans lost head coach Mike Mularkey, who quit because the team failed to give him an extension during the season. With Mularkey gone, the Titans quickly signed former Houston Texans defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel to be their new head coach.
With Vrabel being a defensive coach, the first thing he tried to address was the defense, and bringing in new Titans players for the season. One of the players Vrabel went after was former Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, who was released due to Miami’s salary cap issues.
As expected, Suh was highly sought after and Vrabel was hoping he could convince him to join what was one of the best defenses in the NFL last season. However, he was unsuccessful as Suh decided to sign a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Rams.
The Titans missing out on Suh will have an impact on their defensive line next season because the team had released defensive linemen Sylvester Williams and Karl Klug trying to free up some cap space to acquire Suh.
Now that they failed to land Suh, the Titans will have to find suitable replacements for the released players in free agency or through the draft.
The good news for the Titans and their fans is neither Williams nor Klug lived up to expectations last season, so not having them on the team next season shouldn’t affect them too much. However, it also means that if the Titans fail to sign quality replacements, their defensive linemen going in to next season are Johnny Maxey, Julius Warmsley, Antwaun Woods, Austin Johnson, David King, DaQuan Jones and Jurrell Casey.
Jones and Casey were regulars on the defensive line last season and have some experience under their belts. The rest of the players on their defensive line are untested, which is why they need to add some more depth.
The Titans can decide to go with what they have and hope one or two of their defensive linemen rise up to the occasion during offseason workouts and training camp, but the chances of that happening aren’t very good.
They could also trade for defensive linemen, but acquiring a proven veteran will likely cost them some valuable draft picks.
Free agency is another option, but at this point, most of the coveted players have already been signed, which means the Titans won’t have many good choices to choose.
The smartest move the Titans can make at this point is to take some defensive linemen in the draft. Granted they might not find someone ready to contribute right away, but they will still be able to find players that can help improve their defensive line.
The good news for the Titans is that they sign former New England Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler, who will help improve their secondary. They were also able to sign Dion Lewis, who gives them a very capable backup for Derrick Henry, who will be the feature back this season after sharing the load with DeMarco Murray for the past two seasons.
Rams appear to be the front runners for Ndamukong Suh. Titans and Saints still in the mix@RapSheet— Eric Schefter (@EKaplan15) March 26, 2018