Is now the time for the Titans to lock up Jonnu Smith?

For Jonnu Smith, this offseason is one that could mean big things for his football career. This is the first offseason that the Titans tight end isn’t nursing an injury. He has suffered MCL, ACL, and ankle injuries through his career, but now is his time to capitalize on a healthy offseason. So far, it looks like he has done a very good job of that. Many people expect Jonnu Smith to have a break-out season in 2020, so is now the time for the Titans to give Jonnu Smith a new contract?

After taking a look at that photo of Smith, Jon Robinson might want to consider getting him signed to what will seem like a team friendly deal after he bulldozes opposing defenses in 2020.

Any NFL contract negotiations right now are hard. Just recently, we have seen how Derrick Henry and the Titans failed to reach an agreement. I believe this is largely due to the uncertainty of the salary cap going forward. Jon Robinson mentioned the salary cap and how it’s hard to commit to a long term deal because you just don’t know what the NFL is going to do about it.

What you don’t want to do is do something and then you’ve got to undo it or try to unpack it a year, two years from now, given the uncertainty of the salary cap.”

Jon Robinson to Paul Kuharsky

Extending Jonnu Smith could still be smart

Handing Jonnu Smith a contract extension right now could seem like a bad move after hearing about the possibility of a lower salary cap. After the cap goes down, though, it will likely come back up when the NFL starts making more money again. That could effect negotiations next offseason. The players could use rumors of the cap going back up as leverage to get more money.

Right now, giving Jonnu Smith a fair deal could make both him and the team happy going forward. Waiting until after the 2020 season could be detrimental to the Titans cap situation. If Jonnu Smith does have a breakout season and becomes a top 5 tight end, the team might have to compete with the new contract of George Kittle, who will be a free agent after next season as well.

Right now, Jonnu Smith could probably be extended for numbers close to Eric Ebron or Vance McDonald. That would have him sitting at around $6 million per year. If the team waits and Smith does have a great season, upwards of $10 million wouldn’t be a crazy asking price for him.

Players always like to have financial security sooner rather than later. One more injury could potentially keep Jonnu Smith from ever cashing out. The Titans should make him happy now by giving him an extension. They’ll probably save money in the long run.

Featured Image: “contract” by mikecohen1872 is licensed under CC BY 2.0

About The Author Tanner Staggs

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