Can Vic Beasley be a game-changer for the Titans defense?
The Tennessee Titans have been busy since last Monday, making free agency moves and re-signing key players like Derrrick Henry, Ryan Tannehill and Dennis Kelly. They have kept the majority of their core from last year’s AFC championship squad under contract.
While they did have to cut bait with a few key pieces like Jack Conklin and Marcus Mariota, they did make a splashy move for Atlanta Falcons EDGE rusher Vic Beasley, who they signed on a 1-year, $9.5 million deal, all of which is fully guaranteed.
Even though that is a hefty chunk of change, it makes some sense as to why the Titans would cash in, being that Beasley led the league with 15.5 sacks and earned a Pro Bowl bid in 2016.
Beasley has regressed significantly since that season, as he has only amassed 18 sacks over the last three seasons even though he played in 46 of a possible 48 games.
This deal with the Titans is a bit of a prove-it deal, but some experts, including Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com, think it’s a bit too expensive for past performance.
“If Beasley couldn’t be trusted in big situations in Atlanta, there’s little reason to think that will change in Tennessee. He makes this list because he cost twice as much based on his first-round draft pedigree. A fourth-round pick with the film Beasley has put up the last three years would not have come close to earning $10 million on a one-year contract.”
Titanswire also gave the signing a ‘C’ grade, saying that while they understand the caution of signing Beasley, they love his upside. At only 27 years old, he could return to his dominant status with the change of scenery.
Beasley excelled in Atlanta in the role of plugging up the outside, with an emphasis of filling the C and D gaps with a consistent outside rush.
At the very least, Beasley’s role in Tennessee could be limited to being a stopgap for whichever EDGE rusher the Titans draft in the first few rounds of the 2020 draft.
There is a world where Beasley excels at this EDGE rushing position, thanks to opposing offensive lines focusing on pressure created by Jeffery Simmons and Jayron Brown. While the Titans’ defense doesn’t have a lot of stars, they proved last season to be consistent and held talented offenses like the Baltimore Ravens to limited success late in the year.
This is a prove-it deal for Beasley, and while the Titans may have paid a bit much to sign the five-year veteran, they are going to get the last laugh if Beasley can return to his double-digit sack status with the help of a new home.