For those who hope to see much the Tennessee Titans’ record-setting offense return in 2021, general manager Jon Robinson offered a sobering dose of reality.
When asked about wide receiver Corey Davis and tight end Jonnu Smith during a press conference Tuesday, Robinson referenced one of last season’s free agents … who eventually signed elsewhere.
“I had the same conversation at the end of the season with those guys that I had with Jack Conklin a year ago: ‘You’ve done everything we’ve asked of you here, and we’re going to be competitive in trying to keep you, but at the end of the day you’re going to have a decision to make if you have suitors with other teams,’” Robinson said. “I had that same discussion with those two guys, and we’ll see what we can figure out.”
Conklin, the Titans’ first-round pick in 2016, ultimately accepted an offer from the Cleveland Browns and was a first-team All-Pro for a franchise that ended a 17-year playoff drought.
Davis and Smith were first and third-round choices, respectively, in 2017 and are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents when the current contract year ends last month.
Davis led Tennessee in receiving in 2018 and finished second to A.J. Brown each of the last two years. He set career-highs with 984 yards and five touchdowns and equaled his career best with 65 receptions in 2020. Franchise officials elected last offseason not to exercise their fifth-year option on his contract, which has allowed him to become a free agent this year.
Smith has improved his receptions and receiving yards totals every year of his career, and the 2020 season was his best with 41 receptions for 448 yards and eight touchdowns. He set a franchise record for touchdown receptions by a tight end and, with the addition of one rushing touchdown, tied for third among all NFL tight ends in total touchdowns.
They were key components to an offense that set franchise records for total yards and first downs and produced the second highest point total in team history last season. But it sounds like they won’t be part of the Titans’ future.
“Proud of both of those guys,” Robinson said. “… But at the end of the day if they choose to capitalize on free agency in the market, I wish them nothing but the best. They’ve done everything that we’ve asked them to do.”