Re-Evaluating The Titans "Big" Free Agent Signings
The Titans made the necessary moves this offseason to be able to field a team significantly better than last season. They went out, signed free agents and really addressed the talent level. But have those moves proved to be that much more effective?
Tennessee made a concerted effort to improve their team through free agency. They addressed the offensive line and backfield, boldly. They took some chances, something most teams wouldn’t do, and they hoped for the best. Let’s look back at a few of the bigger free agent signees to see if they actually panned out.
The signing of Levitre was probably the biggest move the Titans made this past offseason. The guard, who had previously played with Buffalo, has been what the Titans expected him to be – smart, reliable and an anchor to a struggling offensive line. So far, this signing hasn’t backfired on the Titans. He’s still the starter and will continue to be for the foreseeable future.
The 6-foot-4 center, has been a disappointment. He started at the beginning of the season and then lost his job. Not too long after that, Turner was placed on the IR and lost for the season as well. Tennessee took a chance on Turner and the signing fell flat on its face.
SHONN GREENE/JACKIE BATTLE
These two pickups were basically one package deal. The Titans wanted to take some of the ball-carrying pressure off Chris Johnson, bringing in Greene and Battle gave them that opportunity. Between the two, they have 231 rushing yards on 65 carries. Johnson has 700-plus rushing yards. So, technically, the Titans nearly have a 1,000-yard rusher. I guess that was their plan all along, but an early injury to Greene (which cost him to miss five games) really threw this plan off a bit, too.
Apart from Levitre, this was the Titans best offseason move. Walker is a legitimate offensive threat that slowly was becoming Jake Locker’s security blanket. You could say that Walker has been the most productive signee of the group – 44 receptions for 449 yards. Had Locker not have gotten injured, initially, Walker was headed for a huge season. Money well spent here, in my opinion. It could pay dividends next year.
The signee that, perhaps, will actually count the most when the season is all said and done – Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick is a poor-man’s starter in this league, so the Titans did well in signing the Harvard-grad, almost as if they knew Locker would get hurt. Regardless, Fitzpatrick has played in six games and has completed nearly 64 percent of his passes. He’s also thrown for 1,332 yards and seven touchdowns. If he can lead them to the playoffs, this signing would only look that much more impressive.
Overall, the Titans did a fair job of upgrading the team. They had some hits and some misses, just like every team has. There’s still a quarter of the season left, and at the time being, it appears that the Titans did a good job. It’s almost as if they prepared for the worst and the best at the same time. Fitzpatrick and Walker were easily the two best pickups in my opinion. Without them, how would this team look right now?