Following a 7-10 finish to the 2023 season, the Tennesee Titans have headed into the offseason looking to improve their roster on both sides of the ball. But it is clear that through free agency, the team had a clear emphasis on addressing the defensive side of the ball.
On offense, the Titans have added several potential starters, with two coming to the offensive line. The team gave tackle Daniel Brunskill a two-year deal worth up to $5.5 million. They also added their potential left tackle of the future in Andre Dillard. The former Philadelphia Eagles offensive lineman signed a three-year deal worth up to $29 million with the team.
On defense, the Titans made several more moves, but the biggest came with the signing of former Jacksonville Jaguars outside linebacker Arden Key. The Titans gave Key a three-year deal worth up to $21 million.
Key, who has been in the NFL since 2018, has developed into a reliable playmaker on the defensive side of the ball. Over 71 career games, he has recorded 98 total tackles, 61 solo tackles, 18 tackles for loss, 58 quarterback hits, and 4.5 total sacks.
The team also added a linebacker with a high upside in Azeez Al-Shaarir. The former San Francisco 49ers defender agreed to a one-year deal with the team worth up to $5 million.
Over his four seasons in San Francisco, Al-Shaarir became a key contributor on the defensive side of the ball. While taking the field in 56 career games, he recorded 199 total tackles, 111 solo tackles, 11 tackles for loss, eight quarterback hits, two sacks, two forced fumbles, seven defended passes, and two interceptions.
With the addition of both Key and Al-Shaarir, the Titans defense has gotten significantly better. But there is one other addition within the unit that could prove to be their best addition of free agency. This comes with the signing of Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting.
Here is why Sean Murphy-Bunting was the Titans sneakiest signing in free agency
In a free agent class that was flooded with talent at the cornerback position, Sean Murphy-Bunting appeared to be lost in the shuffle. The former Buccaneers defender, at just 25 years old, signed a one-year deal with the Titans worth up to $5 million.
To the shock of many, the cornerback market, like much of free agency, did not play out in the manner that many expected. Many big-name free agents agreed to deals that brought in far less money than expected. Adding Murphy-Bunting for just $5 million could prove to be a steal for this Titans defense.
Since being drafted by the Buccaneers in the second round of the 2019 NFL draft, Murphy-Bunting has grown into a borderline CB1.
In total, Murphy-Bunting has taken the field in 53 career games, while starting in 36 of them. Over this time, he has recorded 188 total tackles, 139 solo tackles, six tackles for loss, four forced fumbles, 21 defended passes, and six interceptions.
With his arrival to the secondary, the Titans defense will receive a major boost. Alongside two young cornerbacks in Roger McCreary and Kristian Fulton, who both put together strong seasons in 2022, Murphy-Bunting will be the veteran in the group. With that trio, plus former first-round pick Caleb Farley, this group could have legitimate upside, if they are able to stay healthy. In addition, both Kevin Byard and Amani Hooker will be occupying the safety positions. If all goes to plan, this secondary could be one of the biggest surprises of the season.