Several NFL executives have condemned the Tennessee Titans for overspending in free agency.

The Tennessee Titans, initially perceived as a team in transition with modest expectations for the upcoming season, underwent a dramatic shift in perception due to their active involvement in the NFL free agency and trade market. However, not everyone within the NFL community responded positively to their acquisitions.

The Titans made substantial additions to their roster on both offense and defense, signaling a clear intention to compete vigorously in 2024. Notably, they bolstered their defense with key signings such as cornerbacks Chidobe Awuzie and L’Jarius Sneed, linebacker Kenneth Murray, and defensive tackle Sebastian Joseph under the guidance of first-year defensive coordinator Dennard Wilson. Additionally, they upgraded the support system around second-year quarterback Will Levis and new head coach Brian Callahan by enhancing the offensive line with Saahdig Charles and Lloyd Cushenberry and adding running back Tony Pollard. These moves amounted to a significant financial commitment, exceeding $300 million in player contracts.

Reflecting on the Titans’ offseason activities, several NFL executives expressed to Mike Sando of The Athletic their concerns regarding the team’s expenditure in free agency. While acknowledging that both the Titans and the Carolina Panthers overspent, they noted that the Panthers at least did so with a clear strategy to improve specific positions.

According to one anonymous NFL executive, “They went receiver, center, corner, linebacker, and running back, all at $7 million a year or more. Now look at Carolina. Both teams overpaid, but Carolina made all their moves up front, so you could see what the plan was. If you are going to overpay, overpay with intention.”


The effectiveness of the Tennessee Titans’ expenditures in free agency.

Indeed, Tennessee’s approach didn’t singularly target a specific position, unlike Carolina, which concentrated on bolstering its lines. Nonetheless, the Titans’ front office addressed needs on both offense and defense, distributing funds across various areas, thereby granting general manager Ran Carthon greater flexibility in the 2024 NFL Draft.

While the Titans’ overall spending drew criticism from some quarters of the NFL community, another executive specifically criticized the Calvin Ridley contract as “poor business” on Tennessee’s part. According to this perspective, allocating high-dollar figures to a 29-year-old receiver, now on his third team in three years, was deemed imprudent.

However, the specifics of Ridley’s contract are significant. As noted by Titans Wire, Tennessee could potentially opt out of the agreement after two years. If Ridley were to be released as a post-June 1 designation in 2026, the Titans would free up $18.73 million in salary cap space, with residual cap hits of $8.02 million in 2026 and $5 million in 2027.

Moreover, the strategic pairing of Ridley with DeAndre Hopkins and Treylon Burks affords Tennessee the opportunity to utilize its first-round draft pick on the premier offensive tackle available. Once a left tackle is added to the mix, enhancing the environment around Levis, the front office can more effectively assess his suitability as the starting quarterback beyond 2024.

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