How The Titans Free-Agent Signings Fit

By ZACH LYONS, Stacking the Inbox

Free Agency is officially in full swing. Day One is in the books and as you’re reading this on a Thursday, your Tennessee Titans have had three full days to sign players to help the team with its competitive rebuild.

Some of you may still be recovering from the unavoidable loss of Derrick Henry. Others may not even be able to read this article because anger has filled your soul, and you are blinded with rage as the Titans didn’t sign whatever player you think they should have. Either way, you can only control what you can control, and I control what I am going to share with you regarding the players that, for better or for worse, the Titans did sign.

Jan 7, 2024; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Calvin Ridley (0) scores a touchdown against the Tennessee Titans during the first half at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports
Calvin Ridley/ © Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

If you want my advice on how to maintain logical and emotional balance during free agency, just keep in mind these three things: 

1.   Football is a business. 
2.   Football is a sport. 
3.   The Sun is Running out of Hydrogen.

That should help you keep things in perspective throughout this article and the rest of the offseason. So, without any further ado, and before the sun dies, we talk about what each player acquired can tell you about the 2024 Tennessee Titans.

Calvin Ridley

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Calvin Ridley Brings Explosiveness to Titans, But is Not Without Concerns

Titans fans have been hurting watching the Texans take two prominent defenders, Denico Autry and Azeez Al-Shaair, from Nashville in free agency.

Tennessee has made a similar move, stinging a division rival by lifting a key piece -- and Calvin Ridley was more important to the Jaguars than Autry or AA-S were to the Titans.

Calvin Ridley
Calvin Ridley beats Kristian Fulton/ Angie Flatt

The Titans hope he will be a key piece of Brian Callahan's offense.

He ran a 4.43 coming out of Alabama and his 21.52 mph in 2023 per NextGen Stats, 15th best in the NFL. Ridley can be terrifically explosive. 

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Mike Herndon's Detailed Review of Titans' Additions So Far

Mike Herndon's Detailed Review of Titans' Additions So Far

By MIKE HERNDON, Columnist

The NFL’s free agent negotiating window opened on Monday morning and the Titans have reportedly agreed to terms with four new players:

  • RB Tony Pollard – three years, $24 million
  • OC Lloyd Cushenberry – four years, $50 million
  • CB Chidobe Awuzie – three years, $36 million
  • ILB Kenneth Murray – two years, $15.5 million
  • OG Saahdiq Charles – one year, $2.5 million

Let’s start with a couple of disclaimers. First, these deals cannot become official until Wednesday at 3 p.m. CT, and while it’s very rare, it’s still possible for these guys to change their minds. We saw Wil Lutz change his mind about signing with the Jaguars and return to the Broncos on Monday. In 2019, Anthony Barr had agreed to terms with the Jets before getting cold feet and opting to return to Minnesota. Again, it’s exceedingly rare, but maybe hold off on ordering that custom Tony Pollard jersey until things are officially official.

Sep 19, 2021; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Denver Broncos center Lloyd Cushenberry III (79) prepares to snap the ball to quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Lloyd Cushenberry/ © Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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Derrick Henry Endorses New Titans' Backfield, Expresses Love for Nashville

The same day he agreed to terms with the Baltimore Ravens, Derrick Henry said his former team is in good shape at running back as it moves on from him.

"I think TP is a great pick up for them," Henry said in a text, referring to Tony Pollard who the Titans agreed to terms with on Monday. "Tyjae (Spears) & him will be a great dynamic duo. TP is a good dude, y’all will love him."

Derrick Henry
Derrick Henry/ Angie Flatt

Henry spent eight years with the Titans finishing with 2,030 carries for 9,502 yards and 90 rushing touchdowns, with three additional; receiving TDs. He trails only Eddie George (10,009) in team annals in rushing yards. 

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Chidobe Awuzie Starts Titans' CB Rebuild

The Titans began to rebuild their cornerback position by agreeing to a deal with Chidobe Awuzie, the former Cincinnati Bengal.

Mike Garafolo reported the deal is for three years and $36 million with $23 million guaranteed. he also said despite interest from a few teams, the corner was interested in joining former Bengals OC Brian Callahan in Tennessee to help create the culture.

Dec 10, 2023; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Chidobe Awuzie (22) enters the field before the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Paycor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports
Chidobe Awuzie /© Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

The Titans need that, as they've lacked a productive leader at the position for some time. They still need more.

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Titans In Line to Hire Zac Woodfin as Director of Sports Performance

Zac Woodfin
  Zac Woodfin

The Titans are in line to hire Zac Woodfin as director of sports performance. He will replace Frank Piraino, who left the team for a similar job with the New York Giants. 

Woodfin has been director of player performance and wellness for the UFL. Previously he was director of athletic performance at Missouri and he was FootballScoop's 2014 National Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year while there.

The Titans suffered a slew of injuries over the last three years and pledged to search for every solution to the issue with a reshuffled leadership structure and Brian Callahan in place as coach. Woodfin's conditioning program is sure to be a big piece of that.

Before Missouri, he was at Kansas and Southen Miss, where he also served as interim athletic director. He was an assistant strength and conditioning coach with the Green Bay Packers from 2011-13.

He began his career as a volunteer assistant at Alabama and UAB before four years at Athletes Performance in Los Angeles, where he worked with athletes from all four major American sports leagues as well as Olympians. 

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Tony Pollard Is The Official End For Derrick Henry With The Titans

Tony Pollard
  Tony Pollard

We knew Derrick Henry's time with the Titans was over.

It became official Monday when multiple reports said the team had a deal with Tony Pollard, the former Cowboys running back. ESPN reports it's a three-year $24 million contract, though initial contract reports are always unreliable and the most favorable version possible for the player.

We need to see the structure and find out how much is guaranteed.

Still, I'm surprised the Titans would grab a five-year veteran to pair with Tyjae Spears so quickly given the rate of success teams are having with low picks and low-ranking veterans.

Pollard's 4.0 yards per carry were a career-low in 2023 though his 55 catches were a career-best for the 26-year-old, 6-foot, 209 back. They will have two backs who can be factors in the passing game.

Remember what Brian Callahan recently said about the position:

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UPDATE: Titans Land Denver Center Lloyd Cushenberry

Lloyd Cushenberry
  Lloyd Cushenberry

The Titans had immediate interest in Denver unrestricted free-agent center Lloyd Cushenberry and landed him with a deal PFF reports wil pay him $30 million in his first two years, most ever for a center.

Cushenberry should serve as a stabilizing force on an offensive line that needs a great deal of work.

The 26-year-old was a third-round pick out of LSU by the Broncos in 2020 and has started 57 of a possible 66 games in his four NFL seasons. He's listed as 6-foot-4, 319 pounds. 

"Just now reaching his prime, he has a nice combination of power and mobility," former Titans scout Blake Bedingfield recently wrote about Cushenberry in a free agency preview for this site. "A big upgrade over (Aaron) Brewer in both the run and pass game. Would bring size and experience in his prime years."

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