Titans unlikely to use franchise or transition tag this offseason

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Mike Moraitis
·2 min read
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The Tennessee Titans had a few logical candidates to use either the franchise or transition tag on last offseason in quarterback Ryan Tannehill and running back Derrick Henry before eventually using the franchise tag on the latter.

In the case of Henry, it made total sense. The Titans used the “non-exclusive” tag to give themselves extra time and a chance to see what other offers were out there. Eventually Henry and the team settled on an extension that worked out to a $12.5 million annual average, over $2 million more than the tag number.

In 2021, it’s a much different story for the Titans. Of their nearly 30 free-agents-to-be this offseason, it doesn’t really make sense to tag any of them.

Per Over the Cap, here’s a projection of what some of Tennessee’s most important free agents would make in 2021 if they played the season out on the franchise or transition tag:

  • Corey Davis: $16.4 million/$14.2 million

  • Jayon Brown: $15.6 million/$13.4 million

  • Jonnu Smith: $10.1 million/$8.5 million

  • Desmond King: $15.2 million/$13.2 million ($11.1 million/$9.5 million if he’s considered a safety)

  • Jones: $14.1 million/$11.4 million

Brown, Davis, King and Jones won’t command what either tag would pay them on the open market, therefore those guys playing out the 2021 campaign on either tag would amount to overpaying them.

Smith, on the other hand, is a different story. Spotrac estimates he is worth a contract that pays $8 million annually, so the transition tag figure is actually close to what the former third-round pick is likely to command.

However, with the way the Titans sparsely use him, combined with the fact that the team has bigger fish to fry this offseason and limited funds to spare, we don’t see Smith returning to Nashville at all, therefore Tennessee won’t use the tag on him.

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