Make no mistake about it: the Tennessee Titans trading Jurrell Casey to the Denver Broncos was not about getting a seventh-round pick in return, it was about dumping salary.
The move sends the Titans’ cap space from about $19 million after the reported Vic Beasley signing to upwards of $30 million.
And that could mean general manager Jon Robinson has something big up his sleeve in terms of making a splash of a free-agent signing.
After all, it would be pretty surprising to see the Titans trade away such an important player like Casey for almost nothing and leave a huge void in the defensive line without having a corresponding move lined up.
Could that aforementioned splash be Jadeveon Clowney?
Estimates have it taking around $20 million or more annually to bring the 27-year-old in, but a new report on Wednesday from NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo said that Clowney doesn’t have the market he expected.
So, not only do the Titans have the cap space to sign Clowney, it might not cost as much as originally thought to get him.
However, it was thought that the signing of Beasley was the Titans’ answer to their pass-rushing needs. After all, Beasley fits as an outside linebacker and that’s where you’d expect Clowney to go.
Perhaps the Titans plan on putting Clowney on the defensive line at defensive end?
We also shouldn’t rule out the team possibly signing Dante Fowler Jr., the second-biggest name on the open market. I find that one a bit less likely, though, as head coach Mike Vrabel prefers players he’s familiar with and he was Clowney’s defensive coordinator in 2017 with the Houston Texans.
I initially thought that the Titans might move either Casey or DaQuan Jones in order to bring in defensive lineman D.J. Reader after it was reported they were interested in him, but he’s already off the market and with the Bengals.
Having extra money around could also allow Tennessee to bring Logan Ryan back, but with him likely to command a salary of around $10 million or so, the Titans already had the room to make that move before trading Casey.
Whatever the case may be, the Titans’ offseason has just gone from 0 to 60 in one fell swoop.