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[FREE] Tennessee Titans Fumble Trade Deadline
The Titans chose to stand pat at the trade deadline and it is possibly their worst idea yet.
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Before the Titans’ win over the Atlanta Falcons 3 days ago, there were a lot of rumors swirling regarding the futures of some of the team’s most notable contributors.
Derrick Henry, DeAndre Hopkins, Denico Autry, and Ryan Tannehill were the players whose futures seemed the most cloudy. Not because of the team’s dissatisfaction with their play, character, or some incident that forced the team to consider their stay in Tennessee.
But due to their statuses as potential prized trade pieces for the rest of the league.
We all knew this, since we somehow heard a new Hopkins or Henry rumor every single day, whether it was against our will or not.
However, even though we continuously heard and saw these rumors, that still didn’t stop some of us from contemplating how these trades could go down, and who might be the partner to engage and potentially take these players off the Titans’ hands.
So as the days went by, and the Titans won a thrilling game against the Falcons, all eyes turned towards the following Monday and Tuesday. The trade deadline was coming into full view and there were still some hefty rumors.
But as those days went by, all that remained was silence and uncertainty.
In the end, the Titans didn’t make a single trade leading up to the deadline. Instead, they stood pat and welcomed the idea of keeping all their pieces and continuing their efforts towards winning as much as possible during this up and down season.
While some might call that normal in a sense, I call it irresponsible and a bit crazy.
Why? Well, let me explain.
Standing pat shouldn’t have been an option
Some Titans fans bark like rabid dogs whenever you discuss the idea of the Titans selling off players. They’ve simply become so accustomed to being competitive, that admitting your “seller” status feels almost like quitting.
But that isn’t the case.
You see, the Titans are in a pretty weird situation right now.
Ryan Tannehill is still on the shelf with an ankle injury, which has opened up a path for rookie Will Levis to step in and gain some valuable experience. We all saw the performance Levis had on Sunday, one that has pumped a lot of optimism into a fanbase that has been quite pessimistic in recent weeks.
The victory put the Titans at 3-4, with a chance to get to 4-4 with a win on Thursday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
A win there puts the Titans squarely in the chase for a playoff spot and a potential comeback run at the division as well. All of that is good right? The Titans would be competitive again, there’d be something to play for realistically, and some high stakes would be injected into the conversation.
Again, all of that is good right?
The Titans have developed a solid, yet consequential fighters attitude when it comes to the concept of winning. They’ll do anything to win, putting their all on the field and making sure they walk off the field knowing they did everything they could. It’s an enviable attitude, one that a lot of teams around the league would love to possess.
But this can cause some problems too, like the one we’re starting to see fester within the Titans right now. And that is the false sense of making something when you don’t have much to work with.
This all might sound vague and confusing, but I promise I’ll break it all down. Which’ll roll back into the reason why the Titans standing pat was the worst thing they could’ve done.
When you have a false sense of being able to “make a run”, you tend to make some rash decisions. Most teams with this false sense end up buying, wasting draft picks on a false hope that never had a realistic chance of coming true in the first place.
But somehow that isn’t the worst conclusion in the world.
The worst conclusion is standing still and refusing to do absolutely nothing, like what the Titans did on Monday and Tuesday.
You see, even if the Titans win on Thursday night and get to 4-4, chances are they’ll finish short of a division title and still miss the playoffs. That’s fine in theory, since no one expected the Titans to do much anyways. Especially when their whole “rebuild on the fly” plan still hadn’t reached its most important phase yet.
But the main problem is that the Titans don’t want to admit that — especially Mike Vrabel. And when that happens, you tend to run into some consequences that you simply can’t escape from. Like one that’s still plaguing the Titans now, which is an extreme lack of helpful draft capital.
The likes of Henry, Tannehill, Autry, and even Kristian Fulton are all on the last years of their deals. Hopkins on the other hand has a year left. Most of these players have trade value, especially the likes of Henry and Hopkins, both of which would’ve made sense as arrivals for a number of contending teams.
By at least trading some of these players away, you meet the idea of acquiring draft capital that’ll be really helpful towards the acceleration of the Titans’ “retooling” plan. But because the Titans held on to every player that made sense as a trade piece, the Titans’ draft capital situation remains as murky as it was before.
And to make matters worse, most of these players will lose value as trade pieces in the near future. Not only because of expiring contracts and the potential for them to leave elsewhere, but also due to the fact that most of these players are nearing or over the age of 30.
Henry is nearing 30 and has a contract that expires in the offseason. Autry is 33 and has a deal that expires in the offseason as well. Tannehill is 35 and on an expiring contract. Hopkins is 31 and isn’t getting any younger.
The only sensible trade piece that wasn’t an old man in NFL terms was Kristian Fulton. But the Titans showed zero willingness to trade him, or maybe the market for him wasn’t robust, either or.
So now you’re left with older players on expiring contracts that can’t be traded for draft capital — like previously mentioned, is something the Titans really need right now — all due to the fact that the Titans still have a false sense...of hope.
Are you getting the big picture now?
So where does this leave the Titans now
So with no added draft capital, a false sense of hope, and a season that still looks to be more lost than anything, the Titans are in a peculiar situation.
They only have a 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and multiple 7th round picks right now. You probably have the same thought as I do, but those just aren’t enough draft picks to replenish a roster that needs more talent in the worst way.
And no, the idea isn’t to completely change the roster in one offseason, that simply isn’t possible. But it’s better to get a jump start on the task by possessing more draft assets, so the process can be sped up.
With such meager draft assets, you have to wonder who the Titans will go about their roster building this upcoming offseason. They have loads of cap room, but building a team based on free agency has always been a recipe for disaster. Which means all eyes on the draft, but for the Titans, a draft that they could’ve been better positioned for if they simply took the most logical route.
We’re not in the front office..
But it’s sad when us couch GMs can still make better decisions than the ones in charge. The smartest decision can be staring at the face of the decision makers, but they’re still passed over for some weird reason.
Either way, the Titans have dug themselves into an even larger hole. Will they be able to keep their head above ground during an offseason that stands to be the most important in years for the franchise?
Or will the error of their ways crumple them and delay their return to the realms of the AFCs elite?
It’s too soon to tell.
For now, all we can do is wait and see if their decisions will bring them riches or their own doom.
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