Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Titans looking at Jones, but can they do better?
By Paul Kuharsky
Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
The Titans are going to take a closer look at Matt Jones.
The troubled receiver has been out there since the Jaguars cut him March 16.
I think he can be an effective possession receiver, assuming he’s got his off-the-field stuff together. He'll benefit from the differing expectations of a new team counting on him to convert a third-and-7 rather than a team looking for him to be a big-play receiver, as Jacksonville inevitably did when it spent the 21st pick in the 2005 draft on a player who was a quarterback at Arkansas.
I know Titans fans are going to jump to conclusions, but having Jones in and signing him are two different moves. (Recall, please, Byron Leftwich.)
Would he be the right guy for the Titans?
Well, I think Justin Gage is a more physical, more polished version of the same cut of receiver and that first-round pick Kenny Britt can be, too. Would you be stunting Britt’s growth by bringing in Jones?
Yes, many had Jones running a sub 4.4 40 coming out, but as he developed as a receiver I don't think he played nearly that fast. Ask any Jaguars fan if he was threatening defenses deep.
Adding Jones wouldn’t be indicting Gage, the injured Nate Washington or Britt. It would be saying the Titans aren’t completely confident in Dominique Edison, a sixth-round draft pick, or Lavelle Hawkins, a fourt- rounder from 2008, who’s still not reliable enough.
My guess is the Titans want to be poised to grab Jones, but that they’d hope to find a better fit -- a shiftier, faster and more explosive guy who also might be a return candidate -- on Saturday when they comb through players cut around the league.