Free agency is underway and ever-changing. The Tennessee Titans appear to be ready to undergo a near total rebuild, at least on one side of the ball. Cap space is being freed up and used left and right, and the Titans are no different. New general manger Ran Carthon has already signed a handful of players, but plenty still remain without a city in which to showcase their talents.
Our focus, however, isn’t on the players necessarily. It’s on the players that the Titans could use to get their rebuild on the fast track to completion. Full transparency, I’ve been through several revisions of this list as various players signed deals and found new homes. However, this is the final one. Let’s look at a couple players still available that would immediately improve the Titans’ roster.
2. RB Dontrell Hilliard
This one is basically a no-brainer. Hilliard offers a skillset perfectly complimentary to Derrick Henry. Assuming he’s going to be with the Titans in the future, the Titans need a back who can work out of shotgun and in passing situations. Hilliard offers that, and is comfortable with the team, having been a Titan for the last two seasons already.
In those two seasons, Hilliard has totaled 755 scrimmage yards and six touchdowns, four of which came through the air. He also has averaged over six yards a carry as a Titan, proving to provide great value for his workload.
He’d be available for pennies on the dollar compared to some other backs such as Jerick McKinnon. Essentially, just look at Hilliard as a checklist. Familiarity with coaches and teammates? Check. Complimentary skill set to Derrick Henry? Check. Cheap contract compared to similar running backs? Check.
Seems like the obvious move here. Of course, the Titans could just opt to give second year back Hassan Haskins a larger role in 2023, or go back to the draft for another running back, but Hilliard is there if they want him.
1. WR Mecole Hardman
One thing it appears general manager Ran Carthon is looking for in players to add to the roster is above average athleticism. The Titans also need receivers in a way that other teams probably can’t fully comprehend. Are there any players who fit both of those criteria while also being available for relatively cheap compared to their production?
You better believe there is! Come on down former Kansas City Chief Mecole Hardman. In his career to date, all of which has been spent catching passes from some guy named Patrick Mahomes, Hardman has racked up 151 catches for 2,088 yards and 16 touchdowns. He’s been stuck behind some really talented players over the years, and is limited in target share for the Chiefs because of Travis Kelce.
That is exactly what Ran Carthon is looking for. Hardman is an incredible athlete, even scoring on a kickoff return once in 2020. He’s got speed for days, and truly is unfortunate to have not seen more action in his career to date. I’m sure he’ll cry about that into his two Super Bowl rings, but nonetheless, the point remains. Hardman has been underrated throughout his career, and the Titans may be in a position to capitalize on that financially.
If you can get a guy who’s made a Pro Bowl on a below average contract relative to his position, you take that 10 times out of 10.