Tennessee Titans Signings: Grading Major Free Agent and Trade Acquisitions
While things haven't gone as good as the Tennessee Titans would have liked in free agency, they have certainly made some noise.
Sure, they lost Jason Babin and Stephen Tulloch, but they did sign Matt Hasselbeck and Barrett Rudd. While that might not seem like much at first glance, it could have been much worse. In fact, they have actually done better than some other teams out there.
Today we are grading the Tennessee Titans major free agent and trade acquisitions up to this point.
Matt Hasselbeck, QB
Even at his age, Matt Hasselbeck was still the top free agent quarterback available.
However, what Tennessee paid for the 35-year-old player seemed a little high. They spent a high draft pick on Jake Locker and for a while it appeared as if he was going to be the starter from day one. That could have been pretty tough for the Titans to deal with.
Now Locker has the opportunity to wait and learn from a great quarterback, which is certainly comforting for the Titans. Unfortunately, Hasselbeck is clearly past his prime and doesn't make Tennessee a threat in the AFC South.
I'm still up in the air about this move, but I'm leaning towards it being a poor decision for Tennessee.
Final Grade: C-
Daniel Graham, TE
This move didn't make much sense. On one hand, Tennessee needed a tight end. On the other hand, Daniel Graham has had a less than spectacular career.
He doesn't have starting potential and is really just a mediocre player. His best attribute is probably his blocking ability, but even that is suspect at times.
I can't give his move an F because a tight end was desperately needed, but Tennessee could have done much better than Graham.
Final Grade: D
Shaun Smith, DT
Shaun Smith has played for three teams in his eight NFL seasons and hasn't excelled with any of those teams.
At best, Smith is a serviceable starter on a depleted defensive line. He is a big body who can fill a hole, but he isn't much of a pass rusher. He certainly won't be making a run at the Pro Bowl.
Smith had the best season of his career in Kansas City last year where he started 10 games and was a key member of the Chiefs defense. I'm sure Tennessee is hoping that Smith builds on that momentum heading into this season.
While Smith isn't an elite talent, he has starting potential and fills a need that hasn't been met since Albert Haynesworth left.
Final Grade: B
Barrett Ruud, LB
Barrett Ruud is one of the most underrated linebackers in the league today. He has consistently put up great numbers, but has yet to make a Pro Bowl.
Ruud will come in and be the leader of the Titans' defense. He is a high energy player who should be extremely successful in Tennessee. With the ability to play against the pass or the run, Ruud could finally make his first Pro Bowl.
Losing Stephen Tulloch hurts, but Ruud is a fantastic player who should excel instantly for Tennessee.
Final Grade: A
Overall Grade: C
The Titans put together some decent moves in free agency. It was nothing special, but they could have done much worse.
Hasselbeck will help in the development of Jake Locker and Barrett Ruud should have a great season. Other than that, Graham and Smith seem like filler players and most likely won't have a huge impact.
They didn't position themselves to be a real threat in the AFC South, so a middle-of-the-road final grade seems like the appropriate choice.