From the outside, it would appear the Tennessee Titans struggled through the third day of NFL free agency.
All they have to say for themselves are Leon Washington, Dexter McCluster and Charlie Whitehurst after names like Jason Hatcher and LaMarr Woodley were flaunted.
It’s okay to get excited about names, but it’s also necessary to think about long-term options.
Hatcher is 31 years old and Woodley is 29.
The Pro Bowl defensive lineman racked up 41 tackles, including 11 sacks and two forced fumbles in a monster season with the Dallas Cowboys. He had 51 tackles and four sacks the previous season.
In the six years prior, Hatcher totaled 113 tackles (an average of just under 19 a season) and 21 sacks (3.5 on average).
We’ve seen this story before. In a contract year, he had near career-highs across the board. Is that something that will continue well into his 30s?
The Washington Redskins took a chance on another boom-or-bust guy (Albert Haynesworth) who had eerily similar numbers before signing his big contract.
As for Woodley, the former Pittsburgh Steeler inked a two-deal deal with the Oakland Raiders where he’ll attempt to make the switch from linebacker to defensive end.
After averaging over 10 sacks and 50 tackles a year from 2008-2010, Woodley has seen his production fall. He’s older and a step slow.
As part of a rebuilding project in Tennessee, are these really guys that could have turned the team around?
You don’t pay someone for leadership, you pay them for production. And I’m not sure either of these two would have been the best option for the Titans’ long-term options.