David Long named Tennessee Titans’ biggest offseason decision to make
The Tennessee Titans have a total of 34 free agents to make decisions this offseason, and some would argue that linebacker David Long is the tallest of the bunch.
Selected for the Titans’ sixth round in 2019, Long has blossomed into a fine player in his four seasons in the NFL, two of which he’s spent as a starter. We’ve seen him be great against the run while also improving in coverage.
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The biggest problem for Long, however, is his inability to stay healthy. The West Virginia product has missed 12 games over the past two seasons, including seven in 2021 and five in 2022.
Absent those injuries, Long would be a suspension from getting at least one sizable payday on his hands.
All in all, 33rd Team’s Ari Meirov believes Long is the biggest decision the Titans will have to make this offseason regarding upcoming Tennessee free agents.
Long, a sixth-round pick in 2019, steadily expanded his role in the Titans’ defense, earning more game time each year. 2022 was his first season as a full-time starter, and he’s excelled against the run and improved coverage. He finished the year with career-high tackles (86), tackles for loss (7), and quarterback hits (3), and he also added two interceptions. Injuries have been a problem as he has missed 12 games in the last two years but Long is still only 26 and has his best football yet to come.
With Tennessee’s disastrous situation down the offensive line, one could definitely argue that right guard Nate Davis is a slightly bigger call, but you can’t go wrong either way.
The Titans should definitely be interested in bringing Long back, but at a price that takes into account his injury history. Spotrac estimates Long will land a deal worth $4.9 million over two years, which seems fair.
If Tennessee re-signs Long, they’ve yet to figure out the other inside linebacker spot, as veteran Zach Cunningham will almost certainly be cut.
Of course, 2021 third-round pick Monty Rice would be the favorite for the job, and while he’s played well in place of Long all season, the jury overall is still very much at odds with him.
Unless the Titans re-sign long, cut Cunningham and trust Rice to take a starting spot, this team will consider a full overhaul of its inside linebackers in 2023.
The Titans’ 2022 Season Winners and Losers: Defense