Losing Logan Ryan hurts, but the Tennessee Titans made the best decision for its long-term future by not paying him his desired $10M per year.
As we all know by now, the Tennessee Titans and Logan Ryan agreed to part ways this offseason. It’s a tough pill to swallow, as Ryan not only had a great season for the Titans in 2019, he was the true definition of a leader on the Titans and in the Nashville community.
One notable highlight of his season was his stat line of 4.5 sacks, four interceptions, and four forced fumbles. That made him one of the only players since 2000 to record at least four sacks, interceptions, and forced fumbles in a season.
Just typing this out makes me realize how much he will be missed. And to make matters worse, Ryan revealed that the Titans didn’t even talk to him about an extension or free agency!
That’s a bit odd. I thought the Titans have would at least given him the time of day given the season he had. It seems Jon Robinson and company just did not want to keep him around any longer. It goes back to the ole cliche: it’s a business!
Now, fans have expressed their disgust in the organization for letting such a good player and leader walk without trying to keep him. Let me assure you that the Titans made the best decision, albeit a tough one.
Two of the Tennessee Titans’ glaring needs heading into the offseason on defense was pass rush and cornerback, with the former being a bigger need. Looking at it from Jon Robinson’s perspective, there were two ways he could handle this.
The first way is to keep your secondary in tact and pay Logan Ryan $10M per season (which is a really expensive price tag for an aging defensive back) and sign cheaper options in the pass rush department. Taking this route would mean no Jadeveon Clowney, no Jurrell Casey, and probably no Vic Beasley.
There is really no telling how many solid seasons Ryan, 29 years of age, has left. So we would be right back at square one when he reaches the decline with a need at cornerback, and our now-young defensive backs would be getting up there in age as well by this point.
Let’s say it takes Ryan three more seasons before he hits the decline. Adoree’ Jackson would be 27, Kevin Byard would be 29, Malcolm Butler would probably no longer be on the team, and Kenny Vaccaro would be 32. We would have an aging secondary, and probably still zero pass rush.
The other option is let Logan Ryan walk (save yourself $10M per season), use that money to lock up key role players, draft a younger cornerback and hope he can come and settle in well, and keep yourself open for Clowney, who, no matter what you may think about him, would greatly impact the Titans pass rush.
Now, in this scenario, your secondary consists of a 26-year-old All-Pro safety, a 24-year-old developing cornerback in Adoree’ Jackson, a 21-year-old promising rookie in Kristian Fulton, and three veteran leaders in Malcolm Butler, Jonathan Joseph, and Kenny Vaccaro. The future is looking a bit more bright with that second option, not to mention guys like Dane Cruikshank.
Option two is the route Robinson took. Getting younger and saving yourself the $10M is the right choice, and it was obviously a tough choice to make. Letting go of the cap space by trading Casey and letting Ryan walk gives the Titans some money to try and land a guy like Clowney and re-sign their franchise savior in Derrick Henry.
Ryan’s leadership will be sorely missed on defense, but I think this move was best for the long-term future. Let’s hope guys like Fulton and Dane Cruikshank can step up in the secondary.