A Titans Trade Ticks All the Purple Boxes

NFL: Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars
Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

As we’ve been discussing on PurplePTSD in recent days, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah loves to trade.

Of course, an inherent component of pulling off trades is finding a dance partner. The NFL swap truly is a situation where it takes (at least) two to tango. Well, a Titans trade makes an awful lot of sense, for at least a few reasons.

The Merits of a Titans Trade

The first thing to note is that Tennessee and Minnesota play in different conferences. As a result, the potential threat of a former player getting revenge decreases by a significant percentage. Kwesi Adofo-Mensah isn’t opposed to doing business in the NFC (or even the NFC North, for that matter), but the trend is that pulling off trades with the AFC is more desirable. As of right now, the Vikings’ GM has twice as many deals with the AFC than the NFC.

Draft Prospect
Jul 28, 2022; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

The next factor is that the teams are trending in opposite directions. The Titans are a bad football team. Unless something wild happens, the Titans won’t be competing for a Super Bowl in 2023.

Now, it’s worth noting that no one can foresee the future. Perhaps Mike Vrabel, a great coach, is capable of getting his ho-hum roster into a position to make a playoff run. The odds are stacked against him, though. Coming off a 7-10 season, the Titans face an uphill battle. In some instances, that means a team is more willing to ship out talent since the focus veers toward preparing for the future rather than contending in the present.

Currently, the Titans are sitting on $93,807,953 in 2024. Clearly, there’s some emphasis on next season. Shipping out talent for future assets complements what the salary cap tells us.

Nov 17, 2022; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) celebrates after scoring a touchdown in the second quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Finally, we can think of a past precedent.

One of the trades Kwesi Adofo-Mensah looks to have won involved sending a 2024 7th to the Raiders in exchange for Nick Mullens. The team wanted a boost at QB2 and got one by sending along a future late rounder. Things went so well with Mr. Mullens that he has since been brought back on a new deal.

Part of what helped to make the deal attractive to Minnesota was that they had just seen what Mullens could do. He played for Vegas, a team that took on the Vikings during the preseason. The team’s leadership thus had a super recent first-hand viewing of the QB, helping to give them an up-to-date, well-informed perspective.

Aug 14, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Myron Mitchell (87) and Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Nick Mullens. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

The Titans are on the upcoming preseason schedule. Moreover, we recently learned that Tennessee and Minnesota will be practising together ahead of the game. In the end, the Vikings will have some good chances to scout and evaluate the talent on the Titans’ roster.

Despite being so thoroughly unafraid of shipping out picks, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah still has quite a bit of draft capital to lean on. Meanwhile, Tennessee would likely welcome more picks in their war chest.

Denico Autry is a name that jumps off the page. At 32, he’s nearing the end of his career, but he’s the proud owner of an 8-sack, 19-QB hit season in 2022. He’s heading toward the final year of his deal, so moving him now could be a way of filling the coffers before (potentially) losing him.

What about younger players who may benefit from a new opportunity? Rashad Weaver – a 2021 4th-rounder pick – comes to mind. Otherwise, the team could be impressed by other depth options, players capable of finding a role in Minnesota that may not be open in Tennessee. Think back to Mr. Mullens as an example, someone LV got a draft pick for even though he likely wasn’t going to make their team.

in 2023 Offseason
Jul 27, 2022; Eagan, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah looks on at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

One final point. Not too long ago, Adofo-Mensah praised Ran Carthon. The pair spent time together back in San Francisco. At the scouting combine, Adofo-Mensah specifically mentioned the new Titans GM: “Think about the people that I got to be around. Ran Carthon, Mike McDaniel, Robert Saleh, Demeco Ryans. There’s no fluke as to why I’m up here on this stage.”

Folks, having a relationship with someone matters in the NFL. Adofo-Mensah knows the Titans GM. Don’t be shocked if they do business.

Editor’s Note: Information from Pro Football Reference and Over the Cap helped with this piece.