The Tennessee Titans haven’t made the biggest splash in free agency thus far. However, General Manager Jon Robinson has made several important signings in positions of need.
First, the team has addressed the secondary by signing cornerback Logan Ryan of the New England Patriots and safety John Cyprien of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Ryan was drafted in the third round with the 83rd pick out of Rutgers in 2013. He was signed to a three-year, $30 million deal. Ryan struggled early in the season according
to Pro Football Focus, but after Week 11, he allowed 40 yards or fewer in five games for New England.
John Cyprien was another crucial signing Robinson made to address the less than stellar secondary play that plagued the Titans last season. Cyprien was drafted with the 33rd pick in the second round by Jacksonville in the 2013 NFL Draft. Cyprien signed a four-year, $25 million deal. Many questioned this signing at the time, as Cyprien was rated one of PFF’s highest run-defending safeties in the league. This does not seem to be ideal for a secondary that struggled mightily against the pass last season. In fact, against the run, Cyprien posted the highest grade in the past decade for a safety against the run with a overall grade of 98.8 according to PFF. Look for Cyprien to pair tremendously with second year safety Kevin Byard out of Middle Tennessee State.
Next, Robinson shored up the special teams by adding standout safety Brynden Trawick of the Oakland Raiders. Trawick went undrafted out of Troy in 2013 before spending two seasons in Baltimore followed up by one season with the Raiders. His deal was for two years worth $4.75 million.
A 31-year-old wide receiver Eric Weems will look to make an impact on special teams. Weems will likely replace Marc Mariani as the lead returner for Tennessee in 2017.
Additionally, the Titans added special teams standout linebacker Darren Bates from Oakland. Bates has played 60 NFL games in his career and is believed to make an instant impact on special teams for Tennessee. Bates went undrafted in 2013 out of Auburn, but went on to play two season for St. Louis from 2013-2015, followed by playing last season for Oakland. In 2015, Bates was named one of five captains for the Rams.
Lastly, Robinson added depth to the already talented defensive line by adding defensive lineman Sylvester Williams from Denver. Williams was drafted with the 28th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft by Denver out of North Carolina. Williams can help add depth at nose tackle where the Titans already benefit from the services of Pro-Bowler Jurrell Casey. For his career, Williams has posted 94 total tackles, six sacks, one fumble recovery and two pass deflections.
Moving forward, expect for Robinson to continue building this Titans team to take the AFC South by storm next season both through the remainder of free agency and the upcoming draft, where the Titans hold both the No. 5 and No. 18 picks in the first round.