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Houston Texans

AFC South: 4 most important free agent signings

AFC South
Photo Credit: Howard Smith, USA TODAY
AFC South

Photo Credit: Kim Klement/USA Today

Adam Humphries, WR, Tennessee Titans

One thing that has held the Tennessee Titans back during the Marcus Mariota era has been their inability to find an offensive identity. They’ve been consistently vanilla on offense with injuries to Mariota, poor offensive coordinator choices, and a lack of development at wide receiver. This finally feels like the year that it could come together for their passing game.

For the first time in years, the Titans starting pass-catchers feel set. Corey Davis has the tools to be a Pro Bowl player, Delanie Walker is healthy after missing the 2018 season, they drafted AJ Brown in the second round, and they signed Adam Humphries to a four-year $36 million contract.

There was a time the slot receiver wasn’t coveted, but with today’s heavy passing game it is crucial for every team to have a talented one. The slot is often the QBs safety net and tends to be the best route runner on the team. Getting a guy like Adam Humphries might not seem like a massive move, but he’s exactly what Mariota needs.

Humphries wins with precise route running and a repertoire of releases off the line. With Mariota’s best trait being his accuracy, getting a guy who can win early and often on underneath routes can be the key to more consistent offensive drives. With Davis locked into the X-WR role, the Titans hoping Brown can develop into a Z-WR, Humphries is the missing piece at slot.

Although he was overshadowed by Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, and Chris Godwin in Tampa Bay last season, Humphries was quietly one of the best slots in the league. He was a favorite target of Jameis Winston’s and was often the guy he would look to when he needed the ball out quickly.

Per PFF, Humphries caught the third-most passes in the league out of the slot in 2018 while only having one drop. He was also sixth in the league with 666 yards from the slot. It’s likely Humphries will see even more targets from the slot this season in Tennessee with this being the make or break year for Mariota. He should become the top slot in the AFC South.

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