The Tennessee Titans and Vic Beasley Jr. came to an agreement on a one year deal in free agency but is the addition enough to fix the pass rush woes?
Since the legal tampering period opened on Monday, the Tennessee Titans have only agreed to terms with one player in 2020 NFL free agency who wore another uniform in the 2019 NFL season: edge defender Vic Beasley Jr.
The Titans desperately need help in terms of getting to the passer which pushed them to get a deal done with the one-time Pro Bowler. While there are certainly other moves to be made, this signing should give them a boost where they desperately need it.
Beasley, who turns 28 years old in July, has had a roller-coaster career thus far — to say the least. In 2016, the former Clemson Tiger led the NFL in sacks with 15.5 while also forcing six fumbles, tied with Bruce Irvin for the most at that time. He followed up that breakout season with a lackluster 10 sacks combined in the following two seasons.
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The 2019 campaign wasn’t much different for the pass rusher, who started the season slow with only 1.5 sacks through the first seven games. However Beasley was able to finish strong, closing out with an additional 6.5 sacks the rest of the season. Despite leading the team in sacks, the Atlanta Falcons made the decision to part with their former first-round pick in early February.
While those sack numbers could be a whole lot worse, it’s been noted that a decent chunk of Beasley’s sack production are “hustle sacks”. Obviously all sacks count the same in the stat sheet and on the field, but you’d like to see your edge defenders occasionally get home off of their initial move, not a broken play where they chase the quarterback down from behind every time.
What should also be noted is Beasley’s ability to drop off into coverage. For schematic reasons, the Titans love to drop an EDGE player into coverage to throw off opposing offenses. Beasley is decently sufficient in that category for his position.
The statistical production wasn’t the only thing that’s been inconsistent thus far in the five years Beasley has been in the league, but his effort has also been in question.
That dynamic of this addition is what makes this such an odd move for the Titans, who usually pride themselves on adding team-first guys. Even head coach Mike Vrabel loves the mantra of, “We treat players the same way they treat the team”.
The potential is obviously there, which is why general manager Jon Robinson decided to take on the $9.5 million dollar risk in signing Beasley. It’s clear that Robinson has faith in the locker room culture he has established to take on a player with the potential baggage that Beasley brings.
The front office missed pretty bad with bringing pass-rusher Cameron Wake aboard last off-season. Hopefully this addition can account for more than 2.5 sacks this season. It’s absolutely critical the Titans continue to add players who can get after the passer if they are to make another postseason run.