The Tennessee Titans signed Eagles OT Andre Dillard in free agency in an effort to help revamp the team’s woeful offensive line.
It was an interesting signing as Dillard has not been a regular starter along Philadelphia’s offensive line after getting injured and losing his starting spot to 7th round pick Jordan Mailata, who has quietly become one of the best tackles in the league.
The signing was viewed as taking a slight risk on Dillard’s upside, but Sports Illustrated’s Matt Verderame recently wrote that the Titans signing Dillard was one of the 5 worst free agency signings this offseason.
Here’s Verderame’s reasoning:
Dillard is a 2019 first-round pick by the Eagles who failed to stay in the starting lineup throughout his rookie deal. All told, Dillard started nine games across four years in Philadelphia before hitting free agency.
Tennessee desperately needs help up front after releasing left tackle Taylor Lewan and seeing guard Nate Davis leaving in free agency. Still, first-time general manager Ran Carthon was overly aggressive in this instance.
Dillard, 27, will have a chance to consistently start in Tennessee, but the opportunity comes at a very high price for the Titans.
I’m not sure I can get behind this reasoning.
Signing Dillard is a slight risk, simply by virtue of signing a guy who isn’t a starter to come in and anchor one of the most important positions on the field (although we could see Dillard move inside to guard).
But this really isn’t that high of a price to pay, in my opinion.
Dillard’s contract only has $10M guaranteed, and the Titans could theoretically get out of it after two years without a significant cap hit.
All that said, I’m confident Dillard can fill a role for the Titans. I’m not certain that role is left tackle, but he certainly should have a chance to compete for that spot. If it isn’t though, I think he could be a quality guard.
And at 27 years old, if he pans out, especially at left tackle, the Titans got a great bargain in this free agency class.
Time will tell, but I have a hard time placing Dillard as one of the worst signings this offseason.
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