The Tennessee Titans have signed 31-year-old safety George Wilson. NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport expects Wilson to receive a two-year, $4 million contract. Incentives can increase that to $5 million. This comes nearly two weeks after the Buffalo Bills released him as a cap casualty.
Shortly after Super Bowl XLVII, Wilson was one of two players who knowingly interviewed with the Titans. Along with Wilson, the Titans interviewed defensive lineman Chris Canty. Canty was released from the New York Giants.
It’s odd to see the Titans take an aggressive approach to free agency. The Titans are anxious to improve a defense that surrendered a franchise record 471 points. After a 2012-13 NFL season that ended with a 6-10 record and multiple threats from owner Bud Adams, general manager Ruston Webster understands that 2013 is a do-or-die season for many employees.
Wilson is a durable safety who has missed three games since 2008. He has posted 100-plus tackles in three of his last four seasons. In 2012, Wilson had 104 tackles with five pass deflections and zero interceptions.
What does this mean for the Titans? Wilson should compete with Markelle Martin for the starting strong safety position. Martin missed all of his rookie season because of a knee injury. That should allow Michael Griffin to return to his comfort zone at free safety. Wilson can play near the line of scrimmage.
Pro Football Focus graded Wilson with a 12.4 rating. That was the second-highest rating among safeties in free agency. His former teammate, Jairus Byrd, had a 23.7 rating.
This is an affordable and solid signing. Wilson is a significant upgrade over Jordan Babineaux, Robert Johnson, Al Afalava and anyone else who played beside Griffin in 2012. Wilson offers plenty for a run defense that finished 24th in yards allowed.