Titans’ Brian Callahan shares his verdict on cornerbacks linked with the Titans with over $73 million in cap space for…

NFL Free Agency Preview: A Look at 6 Cornerbacks in Consideration for the Titans

Tennessee Titans’ defensive coordinator Dennard Wilson, hailing from Baltimore, faces the daunting task of revamping a pass defense that ranked at the bottom of the National Football League (NFL) last season in interceptions and passing yards allowed. However, with over $73 million in cap space at their disposal, Wilson, along with new head coach Brian Callahan and executive vice president Ran Carthon, have the opportunity to explore investments in free agents. ESPN’s top 50 free agents list includes six defensive backs, offering potential solutions to bolster the Titans’ defense.

Among them are three notable cornerbacks – Jaylon Johnson, L’Jarius Sneed, and Kendall Fuller – who could demand significant contracts ranging from $13 million to $19 million annually. Additionally, Titans cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting, ranked sixth among cornerbacks in ESPN’s free agent rankings, may command a salary averaging between $4 million and $7 million annually. NFL teams are set to commence signing free agents on March 13th. Here, we delve into statistical profiles of these six cornerbacks, utilizing data provided by Pro Football Focus.

Jaylon Johnson emerges as ESPN’s top-rated free-agent cornerback, positioned ninth overall on the Top 50 list. Pro Football Focus graded Johnson exceptionally well in 2023, with a score of 91.0, topping all 127 NFL cornerbacks. Notably, Johnson allowed merely 7.8 yards on 25 pass completions, the lowest figure among cornerbacks facing 400 or more passing snaps last season. At just 25 years old, Johnson presents a promising future. Analysts project a potential contract ranging from one to five years, with an average salary between $16 million and $19 million. Despite expressing loyalty to Chicago, Johnson remains open to exploring opportunities, emphasizing a balance between personal preferences and financial considerations.

L’Jarius Sneed stands out as a key player in the formidable Kansas City Chiefs defense, earning recognition as one of the top 11 free agents per ESPN and Pro Football Focus. Sneed’s extensive playtime, with 1,185 snaps, contributed to his impressive overall coverage rating of 73.7 according to PFF. Analysts anticipate Sneed, aged 27, to secure a contract spanning 3-4 years, with an average annual salary ranging from $16 million to $17.5 million. Teammate Chris Jones lauds Sneed’s performance, emphasizing his impact in preventing opposing receivers from reaching significant yardage milestones throughout the season.

Kendall Fuller, despite playing for a struggling Commanders defense, showcased versatility in coverage both in the slot and on the outside. Ranked 19th overall on ESPN’s list, Fuller earned an 83.1 PFF coverage rating in 2023, placing him seventh among all NFL cornerbacks with 500 or more passing snaps. Projected to receive a three-year deal with an average salary between $13 million and $14 million, Fuller’s potential return to the slot is under speculation given his age of 29 by the start of the 2024 NFL season.

Chidobe Awuzie, positioned 29th on ESPN’s list, rebounded impressively from a previous ACL injury to contribute significantly to the Cincinnati Bengals’ defense. Despite a decline in coverage grades since 2021, Awuzie’s performance merits consideration for a two-year contract averaging around $10.5 million annually. Kenny Moore II, listed at No. 31 in ESPN’s Top 50, delivered standout moments during the season, including returning two interceptions for touchdowns in a single game. With career-high grades in coverage and run defense, Moore, set to turn 29 in August, could potentially secure a two-year deal averaging $6.75 million annually.

Sean Murphy-Bunting, positioned at No. 38 in ESPN’s Top 50, contributed two interceptions and 42 tackles for the Titans last season. While his performance garnered moderate praise, Pro Football Focus ranks him lower among available free agents, projecting a one-year, $4 million contract. Additionally, Pro Football Focus highlights other cornerbacks worthy of consideration, including Stephon Gilmore, Steven Nelson, Adoree’ Jackson, and Keisean Nixon, despite their exclusion from ESPN’s Top 50 list.

The Titans face a pivotal offseason opportunity to reinforce their defense, particularly in the cornerback position. With an abundance of cap space and a selection of top-tier free agents available, strategic investments could significantly enhance the team’s performance in the upcoming season.


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