Tennessee Titans are burning money with their free agency additions

What is going on in Tennessee?

NFL Combine
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The Tennessee Titans have surely spent in free agency thus far, but their strategy and obvious overpaying of players is puzzling. I guess if you have money to spend, there's reason to spend it, but Ran Carthon, the Titans GM, has made some puzzling free agency decisions thus far, tying a ton of money into a handful of players.

The big splash move broke Wednesday when it was announced that the Titans had signed Calvin Ridley to a deal worth $92 million. The team also signed RB Tony Pollard to a contract worth $24 million that features $8 million AAV. Center Lloyd Cushenberry came over on a $50 million contract, and Carthon also decided to bolster the secondary by giving Chidobe Awuzie a $36 million deal.

Between Ridley, Pollard, Cushenberry, and Awuzie, Ran Carthon signed these players to contracts totaling $202 million.

Four players who could all be considered slightly above-average at best at their respective positions got a total of $202 million on free agent contracts. I mean, this is Burning Money 101 from Carthon. And you could argue that three of these players haven't been consistent during their careers, either.

Calvin Ridley did eclipse the 1,000 yard mark in 2023, but he turns 30 this year and caught just 55.9% of his targets in 2023. Lloyd Cushenberry broke in in 2023 after being a liability along the offensive interior during his first three seasons, and his breakout year in 2023 was also playing next to two above-average guards in Ben Powers and Quinn Meinerz.

And in 2023, the first year that Tony Pollard got a full workload at RB, his yards per carry dropped from 5.2 yards per tote in 2022 to 4.0 yards per carry in 2023. He also rushed for three fewer touchdowns in 2023 than he did in 2022. Pollard was given $8 million per season after a year with only 1,316 scrimmage yards and six total touchdowns, which is hardly notable production.

It's been a puzzling free agency period for Ran Carthon, who is clearly just burning through money without care. I would not be surprised if these free agents did not finish out their deals with the Tennessee Titans.