Free Agency has been a roller coaster of surprising, emotional, head-scratching and wild pickups. Tuesday, the Packers headlined the day, snagging Jimmy Graham and cutting Jordy Nelson. Some other popular pickups were Case Keenum to Denver, Cousins to Minnesota, Sammy Watkins to KC and Bridgewater to the Jets but, why isn’t anyone talking about what’s going on in Nashville. The Tennessee Titans picked up Malcom Butler and Dion Lewis from New England. Hello? This is huge!
In today’s NFL, Defensive backs rule the defense. With that said, a team can no longer rely on just two corners. Instead, three or in some cases four are what teams are looking for. After picking up Butler on Tuesday, Tennessee has created one hell of a cornerback trio. Malcom Butler, Logan Ryan and Adoree Jackson. Butler and Ryan both played together in New England and won a Super Bowl during their time with the Pats. Bringing their experience and chemistry on to the Titans is definitely a positive. As for Adoree Jackson, he is coming off a solid rookie season alongside Logan Ryan. Jackson is only getting better and he’ll be able to thrive even more by getting to learn from the experienced Ryan and Butler. Malcom Butler isn’t an elite corner but, with Logan Ryan and Adoree Jackson, Tennessee’s pass defense will certainly be significantly better.
As for Dion Lewis, he is replacing the recently released, DeMarco Murray. This makes the Titans new one-two punch, Lewis, and Henry. Oh boy. Like Malcom Butler, Dion Lewis brings key experience to the offense. Something Murray couldn’t offer. Lewis is coming off a 1,000 yards rushing season with the Patriots and now being paired with Henry, the two running backs have the potential to be the NFL’s next great RB duo. It’s going to be fun to see how Tennessee utilizes these guys.
The Titans are a team that has been quietly building a monster. Last year, we got the first glimpse of what this Tennessee team is capable of. Earning a playoff berth and defeating Kansas City on the road when they were MAJOR underdogs, there’s no denying this team has improved quite a bit. The AFC South is going to be a battle in 2018. Deshaun Watson will be back for Houston, Andrew Luck will be back for Indy, Jacksonville is coming off an AFC championship appearance and now Tennessee has a respectable pass defense, top RB duo, and Mariota has multiple receiving weapons lead by Pro Bowler, Delanie Walker. It won’t be easy but, Tennessee shouldn’t be overlooked in the AFC South and in the AFC in general in 2018.
– Collin Borron (Founder & Owner of The Gridiron Express)