The Titans may not go to the playoffs or even have a winning record this year, but no one will be able to call them boring anymore. In the span of four months the Titans have swapped fourth round picks for former Offensive Player of the year DeMarco Murray with the Philadelphia Eagles, traded the No. 1 overall pick to the Los Angeles Rams for a bevy of early draft picks, then traded back into the top ten to shore up their o-line.
And now finally, they have shipped out their leading wide receiver from last year to the Eagles for offensive lineman Dennis Kelly.
The Titans are clearly putting a focus on the trenches as they plan to run the ball much more and have a dire need to protect quarterback Marcus Mariota far better than they did last year. They proved as much in their first preseason game as they rushed for a league-high 288 yards against the Chargers. Mariota was 5-of-5 on the night, thus indicating that the protection issues from a year ago might be shored up through all the Titans hard work in the offseason.
The really surprising thing is that the Titans were so ready to move on from Dorial Green-Beckham that they traded him away for another offensive line piece, which they already have more draft capital invested in than any other team in the league. After all, Green-Beckham is the second most productive wide receiver from his draft class, sitting behind only Amari Cooper. The same could be said on the Eagles side about the wide receiving corps as well. They have a pretty good talent in Jordan Matthews and just invested a first round pick in Nelson Agholor just a year ago.
It seems the Titans were just fed up with the inconsistency issues that came with Green-Beckham, as well as the possible maturity issues that helped push the freak athlete down to the second round for them last year. Given Jon Robinson’s and Mike Mularkey’s stated need to create an identity for this team, the trade begins to make even more sense. They want mentally strong players that have great attitudes and play through the whistle. Green-Beckham knew what they wanted out of him and still reported to camp out of shape this year and struggled with conditioning throughout his entire time with the Titans.
Still, the Titans would likely have never had to make this trade had offensive linemen Byron Bell and Josue Matias not gone down with season-ending injuries earlier this offseason. As for the Titans GM, the man has done everything in his power to help this team do a total 180 from last year. He, being the one that orchestrated the high-profile trades for the Titans this year, is as recognizable as any player to Tennessee fans this offseason. If the plan he has laid out for the Titans goes according to plan, though, it won’t be that way for very long.