#4 – Find New Quarterback

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2011 Free Agents

Kevin Kolb (Philadelphia Eagles) (73.2 Career QB rating)
His asking price will be through the ceiling. But, his upside and potentially long career are worth the trouble of haggling with the Eagles. His mobility would be invaluable while buying time to find big-time, down-field target, Kenny Britt.  But, he is not worth multiple first round picks.

Carson Palmer (Cincinnati Bengals) (86.9 Career QB rating)
The Bengals are not anxious to part ways with Palmer, but his terms are clear.  Palmer is the best veteran passer available in the NFL and has accomplished the most amongst this group in his 7 year career.  Paired with Chris Johnson, Palmer could easily manage the Titan offense.

Marc Bulger (Baltimore Ravens) (84.4 Career QB rating)
Bulger spent last season carrying the clipboard behind Joe Flacco.  But that season off helped him recover from being a tackling dummy behind the St. Louis Ram offensive line.  If the Titans are considering Kerry Collins, they must consider Bulger, who is a sizable upgrade with more life left.

Matt Flynn (Green Bay Packers) (73.2 Career QB rating)
The last Pack back-up has done well since receiving the reigns.  Flynn is the least known commodity of these veterans and therefore is only a worthwhile consideration if the price is right.  If the Pack choose to re-sign him and the Titans can lure him away for a 4th, they should pull the trigger.

2011 Draft Class

Cam Newton (Auburn) (2010 comparison: Tim Tebow) (NFL comparison: Donovan McNabb)
According to mock drafts, Newton will be gone by the 8th overall pick (as long as his pro day goes well later this month).  To me, Newton more resembles Alex Smith than Josh Freeman in NFL potential.  But, he also reminds me of a young McNabb, which is hard to pass by if he is still there.

Blaine Gabbert (Missouri) (2010 comparison: Sam Bradford) (NFL comparison: Matt Schaub)
Although inversely, Gabbert is also ill-matched for the Titans.  His interviews, character, and work ethic are solid, but I believe he lacks the physical skills to become a franchise NFL quarterback.  He declined to throw at the NFL Combine, avoiding the harsh scrutiny of NFL throwing scouts.

Jake Locker (Washington) (2010 comparison: Colt McCoy) (NFL comparison: Aaron Rodgers)
My choice as the best match for the Titans.  In an ideal world, the Titans land Carson Palmer and let him mentor Jake Locker for 2-4 years.  Locker has the skills to become a big-time NFL quarterback, as long as he receives quality mentoring and training, something the Titans can and should provide.

Ryan Mallett (Arkansas) (2010 comparison: Jimmy Clausen) (NFL comp: Ben Roethlisberger)
Public opinion (the authority on likability) is that Mallett failed in his media portion at The Combine.  NFL scouts are also whispering that he failed the “eye test” for the physical characteristics of an NFL QB’s body-type.  Silly?  Nope.  This deficiency with his attitude throw up red flags.

2010 Titan Possibilities

Kerry Collins (Free Agent)
Collins is willing to stay in Nashville and play for the Titans next season.  His most valuable contributions will be mentoring a young quarterback, which he had little success in with VY.  Regardless of whose fault that is, Collins cannot stay healthy for an entire season as the starter.

Rusty Smith (Under Contract)
For some unknowable reason, I am still optimistic that the Titans may have something in Smith.  But, if new OC Chris Palmer cannot make something happen this season, I doubt Smith will have a spot with the Titans in 2012.  If the Titans draft a QB in the first, the writing is on the wall.

Chris Simms (Free Agent)
Simms’ only shot with the Titans would be in a worst-case scenario for the Titans.  His off the field troubles coupled with his veteran minimum salary make him too expensive to re-sign.

The NFL Combine has come and gone and there are still no clear indications of what any of the top 8 draft teams plan to do with their first draft pick.  The lack of a CBA is absolutely destroying the Titans lucrative trade real estate in the first round.  If the deadline passes on Thursday night, the Titans could potentially put their quarterback search on hold until next season.

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