The Strong Safety who could drastically improve our secondary
Our Current Issues
Whilst the main issue with this Titans defence has been the cornerback position our strong safety position could do with an upgrade. Da’Norris Searcy has been steadily regressing since his best season which he recorded in 2013. He has recorded 31 less tackles (71 to 40) and has recorded 0 sacks on the year compared to the 3.5 recorded in 2013. While he is a very solid backup he is relatively underwhelming as a starter. Our main strong safety on the year performed a little better, Damion Stafford recorded career high numbers with a sack and 52 total tackles. Although these numbers are relatively decent they are dwarfed by those of the player I have in mind.
I have seen many people discussing the potential signing of Eric Berry. But let’s be honest Titan fans the chances of us bringing Eric Berry over from the Chiefs are slim. Losing him would be a crushing, devastating blow to the fan base something GM John Dorsey is not looking to do. Combine this emotional connection with the pro bowl season he just had and u get a practically must-keep player. However, I am not writing to discuss the reason the Titans can’t sign a phenomenal player I am writing to tell you another player who I believe can boost our defence in a similar manner and would not take quite as large a hit to our cap space.
This player is Tony Jefferson of the Arizona Cardinals. His stats speak for themselves, especially when compared to those of our current strong safeties. He recorded 96 total tackles ranking 5th amongst all safeties in the league. He very rarely misses tackles and is the top safety in run-stop percentage. Although this is a great statistic Kevin Byard has been more than holding his own in the tackle game recording 56 tackles from only seven starts. Where this Titans secondary needs help is the passing game and it is perhaps where Jefferson shines the most. He is currently allowing only a 44% completion rate into his coverage accompanied by an NFL passer rating of 51.9 – the lowest amongst safeties with more than 7 targets in their coverage. Furthermore, he forced two fumbles and recorded two fumble recoveries. A minor issue is that he failed to generate an interception, however IMO his coverage skills make up for that.
Chances of Signing?
He has just finished a 1-year $1.67 million contract. He was initially signed by the Cardinals as an undrafted free agent and the relatively small deal they offered him has lead to him playing with a chip on his shoulder, as in his own words he was “shocked” at the underwhelming size of his offer. It is possible he still feels disrespected and may be searching for a move away from Arizona. Moreover, the cardinals have a colossal amount of free agents to deal with this year. Big names such as Calais Campbell and Chandler Jones are in line for big deals and are very high on the Cardinals priority list. Overall the Cardinals only have $38 million in cap space which means they may have to let Jefferson walk. He will not take up more than $4-5 million in cap space and would be a definite upgrade to a very unconvincing secondary.