The NFL franchise tag deadline is tomorrow, March 9th at 4 p.m. ET. Teams around the league are scrambling to figure out who they will be placing the tag on. The Tennessee Titans too find themselves in this situation.
There are many unrestricted free agent candidates who the tag could be placed on. But what would be the smartest decision for the Titans franchise tag?Titans Franchise Tag Possibilities
Jonnu Smith , TE
Jonnu Smith was a key player for the Titans early during the 2020 season. But, his production fell steeply after the Week 4 blowout of the Buffalo Bills. Smith totaled 41 receptions for 480 yards and eight touchdowns last year.
Sadly, I really do not see the Titans tagging Smith. The likely outcome is that Smith and the Titans will not be able to agree to a long-term deal and he will be able to sign to another team targeting him .
Smith is a mid-tier tight end target in the NFL. He is easily one of the fastest tight ends, but he struggles to make catches with coverage on him. Look for Smith to sign for three or four years and a contract worth $20-30 million.
Corey Davis , WR
Corey Davis’ 2020 season was one for the books. After the Titans declined Davis’ fifth-year option prior to the season, he seemed to be playing with a chip on his shoulder. Davis stepped up when A.J. Brown dealt with multiple injuries during the season.
Davis had 65 receptions for 984 yards and five touchdowns. This was by far his best year as a Titan and I believe he earned himself a new contract. The only issue is allocating the money for it.
The Titans currently have $10.6 million in cap space, but with a few contract restructures and releasing some players such as Adoree’ Jackson and Malcolm Butler, they could free up some money.
The most likely scenario is the Titans tagging Davis for the 2021 season. The only way they can agree on a long-term deal is if the money is there. I believe that Davis stays in Nashville, which might be with a new contract or under the franchise tag tender for the 2021 season.
The Titans are also likely to not use the tag at all. The reason that they might do this is that they do not want to overpay for the production that they are receiving from players like Smith and Davis.
The tag for tight ends sits at around $9-10 million and the tag for wide receivers is at $15-16 million. Both of these numbers are larger than what a contract would command on the open market.
I would not be surprised to see the Titans let players like Davis and Smith walk during NFL Free Agency . The Titans will have until tomorrow at 4 p.m. ET to make their decision on the franchise tag.