We’re two weeks into free agency and already, several NFL pundits have been highly critical of the moves (and non-moves) of the Tennessee Titans.
Mike Reinfeldt and Co. have been bashed for allowing all-world defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth to abandon the Titans’ ship. Others are less than impressed by the team’s decision to make Kerry Collins $15 million richer via his new, two-year contract.
Despite addressing needs with the signings of Nate Washington and Jovan Haye, those acquisitions have also received their share of scrutiny.
Are the numerous NFL armchair general managers right? Have the Tennessee Titans dropped the ball with their free agency decisions?
No Haynesworth, no chance?
Here’s a sampling of what others have had to say about the departure of Fat Albert:
PA SportsTicker Pro Football Editor
“Haynesworth got obscene dollars, so the Titans could hardly afford to match it, but his signing is a huge loss nonetheless.”
Wes Sueve- New Era Scouting
“The Titans lost the staple of their defense — and their team. Without Albert Haynesworth, Tennessee wouldn’t have had the same success that they did last season.”
I was hoping that Haynesworth would re-sign with the Titans, but there are approximately 100 million reasons why this didn’t take place.
All due respect to Mr. Sueve, but Big Al wasn’t the only engine behind the Titans’ success last year. Sure, Albert was literally and figuratively a big factor in last year’s playoff run but don’t forget about the presence of guys such as Chris Johnson, Cortland Finnegan and even Kerry Collins; players who will all be returning to Nashville next year.
Re-signing Kerry Collins
Speaking of Kerry Collins, Tom Torrisi had the following to say about the team’s decision to re-sign KC:
“Giving geriatric Kerry Collins a two-year deal at $15 million was a stretch…”
Collins was a big factor in the Titans’ 2008 success. His veteran poise and leadership in the huddle would have been hard to replace if the Titans hadn’t re-signed him.
Money aside, the decision to bring Kerry back was hardly a stretch.
Haye and Washington getting “rave” reviews
Yes, I’m being sarcastic by suggesting that some pundits have been thrilled by Titans’ free agenct signings so far. This is how some of them really feel about Haye and Washington:
“All the Titans have done to fill the huge void Haynesworth left is sign Jovan Haye of the Buccaneers. Haye is no where near the run stuffer Haynesworth is. The Titans dropped the ball big time.”
“They better hope Nate Washington can make the transition to a starting wide receiver.”
Jovan Haye isn’t a run-stuffer: he’s a smallish guy known more for his ability to get after opposing quarterbacks. I actually agree that the Titans could use another run-stuffing DT, but instead of unrealistically expecting Haye to fill that role, I’m hopeful that a behemoth such as Ron Brace will be selected on draft day.
As for Washington, despite his inability to crack his former employer’s starting lineup, he does bring the dimensions of speed and athleticism to a Titan team desperately in need of a guy who can stretch the field and make plays at the WR position.
Tennessee Titans: Winners or losers in free agency?
To answer the question that I posed in the title of this article, I think it’s a little premature to evaluate the team’s decisions in the form of a grade.
Unlike other free-spending ballclubs, the Titans’ modus operandi is the second wave of free agency, so you’ll likely see a few more signings over the course of the next couple of weeks that should impact any objective individual’s opinion of the Titans’ moves.
Therefore, at least from the perspective of this armchair general manager, it’s too early to consider the Titans as winners or losers at free agency’s two-week mark.
For now, I’ll give them an incomplete grade.
What do you think? How would you assess the Titans’ offseason moves thus far?