Recapping All Titans Free Agent Activity (So Far)
The Tennessee Titans’ approach to the new season has been to try and make it as much like the last one as possible.
General manager Jon Robinson cautioned that change would come – and it has. But it has been minimal.
More than a week since the start of the new contract year, the Titans have made more moves – and spent significantly more money – involving their own free agents than they have to alter or upgrade the roster. They retained quarterback Ryan Tannehill, running back Derrick Henry, tackle Dennis Kelly and three others. None of their additions have agreed to contracts for longer than one year.
With the free agent market having reached a lull, this is a good time to look at exactly what the Titans have – or have not – over the past two weeks.
QB Ryan Tannehill (Four years, $118 million)
T Dennis Kelly (Three years, $21 million)
TE MyCole Pruitt (One year, $2.5 million)
CB Chris Milton (One year, $860,000)
LB Reggie Gilbert (One year, $750,000)
Observations: In what was expected to be a quarterback market unlike any other in recent years, the Titans moved quickly to bring back Tannehill hours into the legal tampering period. But it cost them more than it has cost any other team that has signed a quarterback so far in 2020. … Kelly is being paid like a starter, but there is still a chance the Titans could take a right tackle early in the draft. … Pruitt’s salary is surprisingly high but speaks to how much the Titans value his versatility and commitment.
RB Derrick Henry (tendered at $10.278 million)
Observations: This was the one guy Tennessee absolutely had to bring back, and the franchise tag was one way to do it. A number of players have bristled at that approach. Henry has not said what he thinks, and the sides have until July 15 to negotiate a long-term deal. With the possibility that offseason activities could be canceled amid COVID-19 concerns, it could be a moot point. Regardless, there is no reason to think he won’t be ready for the season even if he stays away through training camp.
LB Vic Beasley Jr., Atlanta (One year, $9.5 million)
LB Nick Dzubnar, L.A. Chargers (One year, terms unknown)
T Ty Sambrailo, Atlanta (One year, terms unknown)
Observations: Beasley is a do-over for last season’s miss with Cameron Wake. He looks like a better option than Wake, if for no other reason than the fact that he is 11 years younger. … Dzubnar replaces Daren Bates as one of the primary special teams pieces. … Sambrailo figures to replace Kelly as the primary backup at tackle – and maybe even challenge for the starting job at right tackle, if he really shows something.
T Jack Conklin, Cleveland (Three years, $42 million)
QB Marcus Mariota, Las Vegas (Three years, $17.6 million)
WR Tajae Sharpe, Minnesota (One year, $1 million)
CB LeShaun Sims, Cincinnati (Terms unknown)
NT Austin Johnson, N.Y. Giants (Terms unknown)
WR Darius Jennings (RFA, not tendered), L.A. Chargers (Terms unknown)
Observations: Conklin was the first choice of franchise officials to return at right tackle, but he got big money and closer to home. … One of the great pastimes for Titans fans this season will be to keep an eye on the Raiders to see whether Mariota can do to Derek Carr what Tannehill did to Mariota last season. … Sharpe, Sims and Johnson all hope to get better opportunities for playing time than they did with Tennessee. Sims might just be the best equipped to do so.
DT Jurrell Casey, Traded to Denver
Observations: No matter how long he has the job, this will rank as one of the least popular decisions Robinson ever will make as Titans general manager. Certainly, the primary motivation was to free up salary cap space. What remains unclear is what Robinson and his staff intend to do with that money because so far no significant move has followed.
RB Dion Lewis, signed with N.Y. Giants (Terms unknown)
K Ryan Succop, unsigned
DE Cameron Wake, unsigned
TE Delanie Walker (Failed physical), unsigned
Observations: None of these moves were terribly surprising, although Succop’s first five seasons with the Titans were enough that another chance would have been understandable. … Succop, Walker and Wake all committed the cardinal sin in 2019: At an advanced age (each is well into his 30s) they got hurt and that convinced franchise officials it was time to get younger. … Lewis just wasn’t the player he was in 2018, and with Henry’s emergence, he was not needed to the same degree.
CB Ryan Logan
LB Kamalei Correa
LB Wesley Woodyard
LB Daren Bates
CB Tramaine Brock
G Kevin Pamphile
S Tye Smith
RB David Fluellen (RFA, not tendered)
Observations: How Logan Ryan has gotten this deep into the signing period without a deal is one of the great mysteries of the 2020 NFL season to date. The guy is coming off a career year for a team that went to the AFC Championship. Teams should be fighting with each other to sign him. … Correa is a favorite of coach Mike Vrabel and the more time passes the more likely it seems he will re-sign with Tennessee. … Woodyard, at 33, can still help a team but he likely will have to wait until injuries create a pressing need somewhere.