Last season the Tennessee Titans defense set a franchise record for giving up the most points in franchise history. With free agency only 48 hours away and only $19.4 million to spend, the Titans will have to spend wisely. Titans General Manager Ruston Webster will be tasked with seeing if any veterans who have been cut due to age and high salaries have anything left in the tank. The talent available on the waiver wire is truly impressive. It includes a number of players who have collected there fair share of All-Pro, Pro-Bowl, and even Defensive Player of the Year awards.
Since it is expected that the Titans will likely use their first round selection to address their offensive line concerns, the veterans the Titans sign in the offseason will be relied on heavily to add a pass rush to an inexperienced defense. According to reports, the Titans intend to address their lack of pass rush concerns by retaining the services of either former- New York Giants defensive end, Osi Umenyiora, former- Atlanta Falcons defensive end, John Abraham, or former- Indianapolis Colts outside linebacker Dwight Freeney. There was a time where these elite pass rushers terrorized an offensive backfield, but despite having impressive career sack numbers (Freeney, 102 career sacks; Umenyiora 75 career sacks; and Abraham, 122 career sacks) they were cut because their diminished contribution no longer matched their high price tag.
Each of these veteran defensive ends have battled knee and foot injuries throughout their careers and their injury history alone may make several franchises reluctant to pull the trigger and sign them. Although no one can truly measure the heart of a champion, Umenyiora may have more to offer the Titans than the two other perspective free agent defensive ends. Freeney has relied on his speed to beat linemen due to his smaller size, but since suffering a serious foot injury he has not been the disruptive force we once knew. Although Abraham had 10 sacks this season, his addition to any franchise would only be for a short time due to his age and 13 seasons of wear and tear on his body.
Umenyiora will enter next season healthy for the first time in his nine year career. He will be a man on a mission possessed to prove that he is still a playmaker on the defensive side of the ball. Umenyiora has already predicted that he will be defensive player of the year next year. Last year the Titans defense lost their confidence and maybe a two-time Super Bowl champion can bring swagger to the defense and lead the Titans back to their proper place atop the AFC South.