AFC South: Jardan Babineauz

Jordan Babineaux isn’t the clear, giant upgrade many Titans fans hoped for at safety. He didn’t start a game last season, with Earl Thomas and Lawyer Milloy at safety in Seattle.

If Babineaux qualified as a giant move, the Titans would have acted sooner and avoided a $500,000 roster bonus paid to Chris Hope. Instead they got Babineaux Thursday for a one-year deal, dollars unknown.

If Babineaux gets to Tennessee and plays well enough to oust Hope from the lineup, I suppose it will have been worth the money to get to see Hope through camp and to get the time to find an alternative with a reasonable deal.

The Titans are going to be bigger in the front seven, so maybe they can afford to be more pass-oriented at safety, where Michael Griffin is definitely better as a free safety and Babineaux is too.

Maybe defensive coordinator Jerry Gray, who coached Babineaux in Seattle, could make it work with two guys who are more free than strong. Maybe Griffin gets bumped to strong (which would not make him happy.) Maybe Hope stays put and Babineaux is merely depth.

We’ll be watching it play out to see.

Babineaux is known as “Big Play Babs” and you might remember him best for his tackle of Tony Romo short of the goal line after the Dallas quarterback botched the snap for an extra point in a playoff game in Seattle.

Even if the Titans are in outstanding cap shape, it’s hard to imagine they’d see Hope worth a scheduled $6.5 million base as he slows down. No matter how things unfold, they could ask him to take a reduction before the season opener.

Babineaux is no kid. He turns 29 at the end of the month, while Hope turns 31 in September. Seattle would have had Babineaux back, but is also content to go younger.

One side note: There is a feeling that the Titans have loaded up on players from the Seahawks since Mike Reinfeldt came from Seattle to be GM. They have not. I believe there have only been four: Bryce Fisher, Kelly Herndon, Matt Hasselbeck and now Babineaux. Also Ruston Webster and Lake Dawson in the front office.

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