The Tennessee Titans are coming off their best season in recent years. Is Tom Brady the missing link they’re looking for, or should they stay the course?
The Tennessee Titans are one of the teams supposedly heavily in the running to sign six-time Super Bowl champion and future Hall-of-Fame quarterback Tom Brady in 2020 free agency. It’s an interesting thought — a team that went to the AFC Championship with a quarterback that didn’t start until Week 7 is considering moving on from him in favor of Brady.
From the moment Ryan Tannehill made his first start at quarterback in Tennessee, he elevated the Titans offense. He finished the season with over 2,700 yards passing, threw for 22 touchdowns with only six interceptions and didn’t even play a full season. So why would general manager Jon Robinson move on from him in favor of a 43-year-old veteran, no matter his pedigree?
Some would make the argument that the Titans had to rely heavily on Derrick Henry and the rushing offense to make the playoffs. While that’s true, there isn’t anything wrong with relying on a stout rushing offense to win games, which they proved in the playoffs. Plenty of teams around the league would kill for a run game like that and I doubt the formula would change if they were to add Brady.
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However, what would change is their ability to re-sign players such as Jack Conklin, Henry, Logan Ryan and a slew of other players that helped make last season successful. Signing Brady at this point means handing him a blank check and hoping that the Las Vegas Raiders don’t come in and outbid them at the last moment.
Signing Tom Brady would not only put the team at risk of being unable to re-sign current players but would also jeopardize the team’s chances of pursuing any free agents that could fill the roles they’re looking for.
Probably the biggest flaw in signing Brady would be continuity, an idea that head coach Mike Vrabel firmly believes in.
After the tough decision to move on from Marcus Mariota after the first six games in 2019, Vrabel started Tannehill, who finished the regular season 7-3. Bringing Brady in after such a strong year by the Titans would set the team back. Brady would have to form relationships with his wide receivers, his offensive line and coaching staff — although he and Vrabel are good friends.
Another thing that many fans and analysts don’t want to address is Brady’s potential decline. Brady averaged 6.6 yards per attempt with a completion percentage of 60.8 in 2018. Last season was the worst Brady has looked since 2013 and, at 43 years old, the Titans would be playing with fire with the quarterback’s age.
Many people accredit Brady’s pedestrian play to his lack of weapons in New England. But if that’s the case, how much better are things in Tennessee? A.J. Brown led the Titans in receiving in 2019 as he barely cleared 1,000 yards while the second-best mark was roughly 400 yards below that total.
Tannehill has shown he can lead the Titans with confidence, averaging 9.6 yards per attempt and a completion percentage of 70.3 all in his first year with the team. Why would the Titans move on from that — a quarterback that beat the Patriots and the Ravens in the playoffs, leading his team to the AFC Championship?
At the end of the day, the Tennessee Titans don’t need to pursue Tom Brady. They need to develop what they have already because Ryan Tannehill has proven he has what it takes to win big.