Who Will The Titans Pair With Tyjae Spears In The Backfield In 2024?

INDIANAPOLIS – Looking ahead to 2024, the Titans’ needs stretch far beyond just the offensive line and wide receiver positions. With the NFL Combine wrapped up, GM Ran Carthon and company will look to continue evaluating and interviewing prospects as the Titans’ final draft board begins to take shape.

But before the Titans make their eight selections starting April 25th, there will be plenty of new faces signing on with the two-toned blue over the next few weeks. The Titans currently lack depth in a bad way, with one or fewer starting-caliber players at a handful of positions. At running back in particular, it seems all but certain the Titans will be parting ways with the premiere player fans love.

“Derrick and I had a good conversation on the way out.  He knows where we are and we know where he is”, Carthon said. He denied to comment on the likelihood of resigning “King” Henry, but the feeling seems to be trending towards Henry having played his last snaps in a Titans uniform. This sentiment was only reinforced by Carthon’s comment about second-year running back Tyjae Spears.

“He’s made of the right [stuff]”, Carthon explained. Well, perhaps he used a different word than “stuff”. Clearly he thinks highly of the former Tulane prospect heading into year two. All signs are indicating the Titans will be making a philosophical shift when it comes to the running back position, but there is no doubt Spears will be the focal point. 

“The myth that you have to have a guy that carries the ball 20 to 25 times, I don’t think that exists. … I think there is a place for rotating backs”, added new Titans head coach Brian Callahan. Callahan went on to add how helpful it can be to have multiple backs who are proficient with a variety of skills, whether it be pass blocking, downfield running, or pass catching. 

Which brings us to where the Titans currently are. According to Spotrac, Tennessee currently has two backs under contract: Spears and Hassan Haskins. There is no question that the Titans will have to add some more talent to the position group as the team moves away from a traditional bellcow approach. 

So what are some of the options the Titans could realistically pursue in 2024? The running back class in the draft isn’t the strongest, however it does boast some late-round talent that the Titans could look to grab. Players like USC’s Marshawn Lloyd, Wisconsin’s Braelon Allen, or FSU’s Trey Benson could add diversity to the backfield and offer a modern, lighter Tennessee rushing attack. 

But the biggest likelihood is that they will address the need through this year’s free agent class. And with the position’s value continuing to decrease, there will be plenty of options to fit Callahan’s hybrid mold. The former Buffalo Bills duo of Devin Singletary and Zack Moss seemingly revived their careers with AFC South opponents and are both set to hit the market. They could provide the power and pass protection to pair with Spears’s speed and agility. The Packers’ AJ Dillon has also been a name often tossed around as an option as well. 

A long-shot option for the Titans could be a running back still currently on a team: former Bengal Samaje Perine. While still under contract with the Broncos, Perine could be a cut candidate, as making the move would save the team around three million dollars. Considering the talent already on the roster in Javonte Williams and surprise undrafted rookie Jaleel Mclaughlin, Perine could be on the outs in Denver. Perine has a long-established relationship with Brian Callahan and could look to slot right back into his old Cincinnati role with the Titans. 

The Titans will need to add to the position one way or another, as their depth on the roster simply won’t cut it. But whether Ran Carthon and company bring in a veteran, or a dart throw in the later rounds, life after Derrick Henry is primarily in the hands of Tyjae Spears.

Author: JT Ruhnke

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