Breaking down the team’s top six new deals…
By John Glennon
Hit by hard by roster turnover this offseason, the Titans had no choice but to jump into the free-agent market, seeking to patch numerous holes.
The Titans have opened the wallet accordingly so far, spending $146,930,000 on free agents, the seventh-highest total in the league according to overthecap.com.
Edge rusher Bud Dupree was the big splash, as the Titans signed him to a five-year deal valued at $82.5 million.
Other notable additions have included defensive end Denico Autry, cornerback Janoris Jenkins, tackle Kendall Lamm, cornerback Kevin Johnson and wide receiver Josh Reynolds.
So just what do these new Titans contracts look like compared to how other teams are spending in free agency? Are the Titans cleaning up on their deals? Or are they being taken to the cleaners?
See what you think after taking a closer look at the Titans’ six biggest free-agent additions to the roster:
Player: Bud Dupree
Position: Edge Rusher
Former team: Pittsburgh
Contract: 5 years, $82.5 million
2021 market comparison: The Titans ponied up big-time for Dupree in comparison to the rest of the market at the edge position. Tennessee’s deal for Dupree offers the most overall earnings ($82.5 million) of any other edge rusher that entered the free-agent market, as well as the most guaranteed money ($35 million). Dupree’s average annual value of $16.5 million is second only to Tampa Bay’s Shaq Barrett ($17 million), and his guaranteed-at-signing money ($33.8 million) is also second only to Barrett ($35 million) among newly signed edge rushers. Some of the newly signed edge rushers with average annual values below that of Dupree include Cincinnati’s Trey Hendrickson ($15 million), the Jets’ Carl Lawson ($15 million), the Patriots’ Matthew Judon ($13.6 million), the Lions’ Romeo Okwara ($12.3 million) and Carolina’s Haason Reddick ($8 million).
Overall market comparison: Among all NFL edge rushers under contract – not just those signed in 2021 – Dupree’s average annual value ($16.5 million) ranks 11th, tied with Arizona’s Chandler Jones and Green Bay’s Za’Darius Smith. The top three edge rushers in the league, in terms of average annual value, are the Chargers’ Joey Bosa ($27 million), the Browns’ Myles Garrett ($25 million) and the Bears’ Khalil Mack ($23.5 million).
Bottom line: The Titans were desperate for significant help on the edge after last year’s team totaled just 19 sacks. So they had no choice but to dive into the market right away and pay big money.