The Tennessee Titans are signing defensive end Cameron Wake. The former Dolphins pass rusher will get a three-year contract worth $23 million, with $10 million guaranteed.
As a die-hard Miami Dolphins fan growing up, this hurts to write. After a decade suiting up in South Beach, Cameron Wake will head to the Titans next season. The 37-year-old will join Derrick Morgan, DaQuan Jones and Jurrell Casey on the defensive line. After going undrafted in 2005, Wake played two season for the BC Lions in the CFL. He joined the Dolphins in 2009 and put together a Hall of Fame career over the next decade. In a previous article, I mentioned the OLB/EDGE position as a need for Tennessee. The Titans turned to NFL free agency to help fill that need.
Why Wake is getting a big deal from the Titans
Wake is a future Hall of Fame inductee. What he did in the last decade on lackluster Miami teams is nothing short of spectacular. Without ever watching him play a down, Wake’s numbers speak for themselves. Wake has 98 career sacks (2nd most in Dolphins history) and 231 QB hits. He’s forced 22 fumbles, has 358 total tackles (97 for a loss) and intercepted a pass. Beyond the numbers, Wake was the heartbeat of the Dolphins defense for a decade. His leadership both on and off the field are unparalleled, and he joins a Titans defense desperate for a veteran presence. Despite being 37, Wake still prepares and takes care of his body as if he just entered the league.
What can Wake bring to the Titans?
No, Cameron Wake is not as dynamic as he once was. But he is still a sound defensive player that can wreck games in the fourth quarter. While Wake can play OLB in a 3-4 scheme, I expect the Titans to line him up next to Jurrell Casey. Wake still possesses elite strength, and can set the edge in run defense. If the Titans are smart, they will utilize Wake primarily in the fourth quarter as a situational pass rusher. In one-on-one situations, Wake is extremely difficult to block and has a bevy of pass rush moves. Off the field, Wake will serve as a fantastic mentor to every defensive player. His six sacks last season in Miami would have been second best behind Casey for the Titans. Wake’s leadership makes up for whatever (if anything) father time has taken from him.
What does the Wake signing mean for the Titans?
Although I mentioned him earlier, I think Wake’s deal could mean the end of Derrick Morgan. The 33-year-old only had 0.5 sacks last season, and is a $4 million cap hit if cut this season. The Titans could choose to move on from Morgan and go younger at the position through the draft. I think adding Wake also signals the Titans’ attempt to keep pace in the AFC South. In 2019, Tennessee will face Deshaun Watson, Nick Foles and Andrew Luck a total of six times. If the defense can’t put pressure on opposing quarterbacks, the Titans won’t compete for the division. Signing Wake in NFL free agency gives Tennessee a veteran defender that can help win games late. See the video below for exactly what Cam Wake can bring to the Titans.
— Eric Elizondo (@EricElizondo8) March 13, 2019
Cameron Wake, thank you for your service as one of the best Miami Dolphins defenders of all time. Best of luck in Nashville, and I can’t wait to watch you continue to build your Hall of Fame career.