Titans FA Targets: D'Qwell Jackson
By Mike Edler
The third player in our series of players that the Titans should seriously consider in free agency looks at defense again. The Titans defense improved in many areas over the course of the season, but never really found its' footing at linebacker. Players like Akeem Ayers, Zach Brown, Colin McCarthy and Moises Fokou all had peeks and valleys in their 2014 campaign.
Going into this offseason, the bet was that the Titans could draft a player like Anthony Barr from UCLA and convert Zach Brown to be one of the teams inside linebackers in the new 3-4 hybrid look. Now, with the release of Browns D’Qwell Jackson, the Titans need to strike... and fast.
Jackson has been a large piece of what the Browns have been trying to do for the past few seasons, but now he is on the open market. Jackson has been a tackling machine over his entire career and would warrant a huge deal if he could stay on the field.
Unfortunately, Jackson has had several season-ending injuries over his career that no doubt played a role in his eventual release. For a team like the Titans, a player like Jackson can kill two birds with one stone.
On the one hand, you get a top-tier middle linebacker that could continue to excel with a system he is familiar with, and you could replace Bernard Pollard from a leadership standpoint if the Titans let Pollard go in favor of T.J. Ward. Jackson is a prized possession in this offseason and has already visited the Titans and the Broncos, with a planned visit with the Dolphins on the horizon.
Jackson would be a huge get for the Titans on many levels. His familiarity with the new system and his history with new defensive coordinator Ray Horton could spell a match made in heaven.