7 Sleeper Free Agents That the Titans Need to Target
The Titans have the cap space to go after one big name free agent if they're wise about who they re-sign. Everyone hears names like Jairus Byrd, Andy Levitre and Michael Johnson, but there are more than just big names out there.
In fact, there's a treasure trove of free agents that are flying under radars for one reason or another, and many of them would bring a lot to the Titans.
Here are 10 players who aren't superstars, but who the Titans need to consider signing.
1. Glenn Dorsey, DT, Kansas City
Glenn Dorsey was one of the biggest busts of his class, so why on earth should the Titans consider picking him up?
Well, for starters, he wasn't really that bad. He sat out much of 2012 with an injury, but in 2011 and 2010, he had a total of 131 tackles and two sacks. In 2012, because of his limited playing time, he only recorded seven tackles.
Dorsey also spent a large part of his playing career in a role he didn't really fit. He doesn't have the height or agility to play an end in a 3-4 scheme, but that's where he's been. He's a natural 4-3 defensive tackle, and that's the scheme the Titans happen to run.
The Titans could sign Dorsey for very little, and could end up getting a lot for their money. They need a third rotational player behind Mike Martin and Jurrell Casey anyway, so Dorsey could fill that space.
2. Chad Rinehart, OG, Buffalo Bills
It's his teammate, Andy Levitre, who's getting most of the looks in free agency, but Chad Rinehart may be one of the better value free agent guards on the market.
Rinehart wouldn't be a sleeper if he'd played more in 2012. When he had to step in and replace Levitre in 2011, he did a solid job as a guard. Unfortunately for him, he injured his ankle early in the 2012 season, and saw little playing time.
Since he hasn't played much, Rinehart won't command a very big contract, but he could be a reliable starter. He's still very young (only 27-years-old), so he could be signed to a long term contract without worry.
He won't be as good a player as Levitre, but at a quarter of the cost, he could be the better deal.
3. Jackie Battle, RB, San Diego Chargers
If you play fantasy football, you might remember Jackie Battle from his stint with the Chiefs, where he replaced an injured Jamaal Charles and ended his season with 597 yards and a couple of touchdowns in only four games as a starter.
What's great about Battle is his size. At 6'2" tall and 240 lbs, he's the kind of big back that could be a perfect complement to Chris Johnson. New Titans' running back coach Sylvester Croom has already hinted that the Titans may use a second running back this season.
Now Battle is 29 years old, and he's past his prime, but if the Titans used him only in third and short situations, he could still be effective.
No matter who the Titans end up signing to be their second back, Johnson is going to get most of the carries. Since they're already spending $10 million on him, the Titans may as well save a little on the guys he's splitting carries with.
4. Brian Hartline, WR, Miami Dolphins
Wide receiver may not seem like it should be the Titans' focus, but with Kenny Britt always a risk for injury or suspension, you never know. If they were looking for a wide receiver going into 2013, a good one to look at could be Brian Hartline.
He fell off after that, with only one 100-yard performance in the rest of the season, and has since fallen into obscurity. There's a good chance that the Dolphins will want to retain him, but if they do let him go, he's worth a look.
A chance at getting a receiver who can explode under the right circumstances could be worth the small amount of money he'll cost.
5. Chris Houston, CB, Detroit Lions
The Lions secondary was not exactly a shutdown unit this season, but even so, Chris Houston did a great job. Excluding the Lions' game against Atlanta, Houston only surrendered a single touchdown the entire season.
Just to review, the Lions secondary faced matchups with Brandon Marshall, Greg Jennings, Andre Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald and Reggie Wayne. Considering who he went up against, one touchdown surrendered looks pretty good.
Houston won't be cheap, but he won't break the bank like Aqib Talib, Sam Shields or Keenan Lewis will, and getting a second cover corner across from Jason McCourty is one of the things that the Titans have been looking for.
6. Patrick Chung, SS, New England Patriots
A solid but not superstar player of theirs could slip through the free agency cracks and test the waters elsewhere. Patrick Chung is one such player, especially after recently moving Devin McCourty to safety.
Chung isn't an All Pro, but he is a starting-caliber and strong safety. Despite only starting eight games in 2012, Chung had 44 total tackles, two interceptions and five defended passes. Not a bad total, especially for a partial season.
The Titans' needs at safety are well documented, and a guy like Chung could bring some stability to the position.
7. Victor Butler, DE/OLB, Dallas Cowboys
The Titans are happy with their defensive end situation, but no one can deny that they could use some depth at the position. One player that could do just that is former Cowboy Victor Butler.
Butler saw very little playing time behind the likes of DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer, but he did manage to pick up three sacks, three defended passes and two forced fumbles. Not a bad total for a guy with only one start.
Now, Butler would probably only come in on pass rushing downs as an end, since he weighs a mere 245 lbs. In any other play, he could be the Titans' backup behind Akeem Ayers and Zach Brown, another area the Titans need depth.
Versatility is valuable in the NFL, and a guy who happens to be versatile enough to play as a backup to both the defensive ends and outside linebacker would be exactly the kind of thing the Titans need.
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