On Wednesday morning, news broke that the Titans have traded DT Jurrell Casey to the Broncos for a 7th round pick. Casey is 30 and he has spent his entire 9 year career with the Titans. Casey can be added to the list of Titans players out the door this offseason.
Many will say this trade is purely a cap move, but even if it is, it makes no sense. Casey, a 5 time pro bowler, has averaged 6.5 sacks over the last 7 seasons and averages about 1.5 forced fumbles per season. Casey has been an essential piece of the Titans defense for years and he has, without a doubt, been one of the team’s best players.
Casey seemed very happy in Tennessee, making it seem like the move was purely to open up cap space. The Titans now sit at around $37m in cap space, enough to sign a few players. The Titans still have 13 free agents who they have not decided to do with yet: Logan Ryan, Wesley Woodyard, Daren Bates, Kevin Pamphile, Kamalei Correa, Austin Johnson, Tramaine Brock, David Fluellen, Darius Jennings, MyCole Pruitt, Tajae Sharpe, LeShaun Sims, and Tye Smith. The fate of many of these players seems obvious but with extra cap, the Titans can explore more options.
The trade was certainly not necessary for the Titans if they were just going to resign their free agents. If a big move is not made on the defensive line, I will be extremely concerned. The lack of pass rush has been the Titans biggest downfall over the last 5+ seasons which leaves me very confused after the Titans traded their most consistent pass rusher.
Casey meant so much to the defense and he will be very hard to replace. There are some other free agents that the Titans might look at after the increased cap space like Jadeveon Clowney and Dante Fowler. This trade comes after many of the biggest defensive tackles and edge rushers have been signed or traded for, making Clowney and Fowler some of the last options. Clowney is reportedly asking for over $20m per year which seems like far too much at this point.
The Titans are now in heavy need of defensive linemen. They drafted Jeffery Simmons in the 2019 draft and he had a solid season after coming back from a torn ACL but he is not enough. DaQuan Jones also had a very good season but the Titans need someone, other than their linebackers, who can get to the Quarterback.
This trade is still questionable to me and if there is not a BIG resulting move, I will be extremely concerned.