The 2019 Tennessee Titans represented everything the New York Giants used to embody. Here are three Titans who Dave Gettleman should watch.
This is a pivotal offseason for New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman. After going 9-23 in his first two seasons as GM it’s time to put up or shut up. He’s made some questionable trades and free-agent acquisitions in recent years and he’s clearly on the hot seat. President and co-owner John Mara even stated that Gettleman has to improve on his batting average.
The good news for Gettleman is that the Giants are projected to have at least $61.9 million in cap space. That amount of salary flexibility will make it easier for him to acquire some of the top free agents on the market.
Gettleman needs to keep an eye on a few Tennessee Titans this offseason. The Titans went 9-7 last season and made it all the way to the AFC Championship Game. They embodied what the Giants used to be—a tough and fundamentally sound team.
Here are three Titans that can help turn the Giants’ fortunes around.
Jack Conklin — OT
It’s rare that young and talented tackles become available in free agency. But since the Titans declined to pick up Conklin’s fifth-year option, the 25-year-old will be one of the most sought after offensive linemen in free agency.
In his four seasons with the Titans, Conklin has started 57 out of a possible 64 games and was voted first-team All-Pro in 2016 as a rookie. It was rumored that the Giants were interested in Conklin in the 2016 draft when they had the 10th overall pick. Unfortunately for the Giants, the Titans took him with the eighth overall pick. Now, four years later, Big Blue will have another chance to acquire Conklin.
The Giants haven’t shown interest in bringing back last year’s starting right tackle Mike Remmers, who signed a one year deal with the Giants last offseason. So it makes perfect sense for the Giants to sign Conklin to a multi-year deal.
With Jason Garrett taking over as the team’s new offensive coordinator, they’ll take more chances throwing the ball downfield. This makes it imperative to have solid tackles to protect quarterback Daniel Jones during five- and seven-step drops. Conklin needs to be a top priority for Gettleman.
Logan Ryan — CB
When the Giants released Janoris Jenkins late last season, it left the Giants thin and inexperienced at the cornerback position. DeAndre Baker, Sam Beal, Corey Ballentine, Grant Haley, and Julian Love all have promising futures ahead of them, but they all have fewer than three years of playing experience.
Logan Ryan is one of the best cornerbacks available in free agency. Last season, the 29-year-old led the Titans in tackles with 113 while racking up 4.5 sacks and four interceptions. He also secured the game-clinching pick-six against Tom Brady in the Titans’ 20-13 Wildcard victory over the Patriots.
Ryan primarily plays the slot corner but can also play on the outside. His aggressive nature and playmaking ability would bring a certain nastiness and edge to the New York defense. First-time head coach Joe Judge is very familiar with Ryan from the cornerback’s time with the Patriots from 2013-2016.
Dion Lewis — RB
It’s been reported that the Titans may cut Dion Lewis if they’re able to re-sign Derrick Henry, who led the NFL with 1,540 rushing yards last season. If this happens, Lewis would be the perfect complement to Saquon Barkley in the backfield.
Source: #Titans likely to cut RB Dion Lewis if Derrick Henry returns. Giants, Lions expected to have interest: https://t.co/1ct8GkM17J
— Cody Benjamin (@CodyJBenjamin) February 20, 2020
Coming in for a few plays to spell the star running back is something Lewis is accustomed to after he spent last season behind Henry on the depth chart.
The 5-foot-8, 195-pound Lewis is terrific at catching the ball out of the backfield. His 84 receptions over the last two seasons shows his ability to be a dynamic threat in the passing game. The Giants will likely run more screen passes this season, and Lewis would be the ideal man to catch those passes when Barkley is out of the game. If the Titans do cut Lewis, Gettleman needs to contact him immediately. Lewis is also connected to Judge from his Patriots days between 2015 and 2017.