Building a NFL Trade Deadline Wish List for the Tennessee Titans
With the October 30 trade deadline rapidly approaching, the time is right to analyze the best-case scenario when it comes to potential targets for the Tennessee Titans.
After a potentially season-saving win in Buffalo on Sunday, Tennessee finds itself at 3-4 and right back in the middle of a cluttered AFC Wild Card race.
The Titans defensive struggles have been well-documented, as they have allowed at least 30 points in six of its first seven games and have struggled to protect any lead the offense has handed them.
With a few teams falling out of contention and having depth at positions of need for the Titans, the time is right to examine some of the best-case scenarios the Titans could hope for as they look towards the deadline.
1. Cullen Jenkins, Defensive Lineman, Philadelphia Eagles
After signing a five-year contract with the Eagles during the 2011 offseason, many expected Cullen Jenkins to be one of the center pieces of the more aggressive Jim Washburn-coached Philadelphia defensive line.
However, an up-and-down first year led to a restructured contract and has led to questions about whether or not he has a future with the franchise.
With the Titans defense struggling to generate a pass-rush from the interior defensive line, Jenkins would provide a versatile threat that is capable of taking snaps across the entire line.
Jenkins price would probably be a bit more than Tennessee's front office would like to pay, but a mid-round pick for a proven veteran is something worth investigating if you believe the team has the chance to make a run at a playoff berth this season.
2. Mike Jenkins, Cornerback, Dallas Cowboys
Throughout his young career, Mike Jenkins has struggled to stay healthy and has had a few issues manning the outside receivers when thrust into a starting role.
After spending big money on free agent cornerback Brandon Carr and investing a first-round pick in Morris Claiborne, Dallas has shuffled Jenkins out of the starting lineup and it would surprise no one if the organization opted to part ways with him at some point in the near future.
The Titans secondary has faced its share of adversity throughout the first seven weeks as the safeties have struggled in coverage and the corners have been forced to play off the ball to avoid allowing the big play.
Adding Jenkins would allow him to move immediately into the No. 3 cornerback spot and, in nickel defense, would enable Jerry Gray to use Alterraun Verner in various ways while Jenkins slides to the outside.
3. Cliff Avril, Defensive End, Detroit Lions
After receiving the franchise tag and holding out early in training camp, Avril has shown why he deserves a long-term deal, racking up 3.5 sacks in the Lions' first six games this season.
The Titans lack depth at the defensive end position and are in desperate need of another pass-rusher to combine with Kamerion Wimbley and Derrick Morgan.
While Avril would be pretty costly in terms of both draft picks and likely a lengthy contract, with the Lions quickly slipping out of contention in the NFC North, Detroit may look to move him in the hopes of setting themselves up for another run next season.
Though Avril is not a strong run defender, his ability to simply get to the quarterback makes him a tempting option for almost any team, particularly a team with the kind of defensive struggles Tennessee has suffered through this season.
Other Areas of Concern and Possible Interest
For a team riding a two-game winning streak, the Titans certainly are not lacking when it comes to areas of need moving forward.
To go along with the defensive line and cornerback positions, the Titans could stand to look at either safety spot as well as interior offensive lineman to step into the starting lineup as they head towards the stretch run.
After handing Michael Griffin a long-term contract and bringing back Jordan Babineaux, the Titans had hoped that they had the starting safeties locked up until at least 2013.
However, early season struggles have left many surrounding the organization to question the coaching staffs confidence in the starters and it could lead to the front office looking outside of the roster for answers, particularly with the bye week less than a month away.
On the offensive line, the Titans were unable to create holes for Chris Johnson throughout the first month of the season, but have shown signs of life in recent weeks.
With that said, if a quality interior lineman was to come on the market, Tennessee would be foolish not to take a look at them.
Overall, the NFL trade deadline is often one of the slower deadlines in all of sports, and it would not be surprising to see that be the case again this year.
But a later deadline mixed with more teams in contention could make for an interesting week as teams look to improve their rosters in any way possible.