As first reported by Jim Wyatt, the Tennessee Titans announced today that they re-signed wide receiver Lavelle Hawkins to a multi-year contract. Hawkins was originally a fourth round pick of the Titans in 2008 and was scheduled to become a unrestricted free agent when the new league year begins on March 13. Terry McCormick added that the deal is for three years. Financial terms have not been disclosed.
The former Cal Golden Bear and collegiate teammate of DeSean Jackson looked like he might be headed to the NFL scrap heap after only 19 catches in his first three seasons, but a pass-heavy offense and the injury to Kenny Britt created an opportunity for him in 2011, and he took advantage of it to the tune of 47 catches for 470 yards and his first NFL touchdown. That 10.0 yards per catch average reflects that he caught a bunch of short passes and then tried, but too often failed, to make something happen after the catch. By Football Outsiders numbers, he ranked 84th among wideouts (of 92) in total receiving value and 85th in value per target, or a little worse than Damian Williams.
As Drexel mention in his look at the wide receivers, Lavelle Hawkins shouldn’t be more then the Titans’ fourth wideout. Still, he does have a little bit of shiftiness, and in a system that demands reads as complex as Palmer, keeping him around is less heart attack-inducing move than going through another season or two of growing pains with somebody who’s no better.