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Titans Free Agents: Who’s Coming Back & Who’s Not

Will Michael Griffin and Cortland Finnegan be Titans in 2012? Courtesy: NFL.com

Well now that the Titans 2011 season has come to it’s end, it’s time to start looking at what moves will be happening this offseason. The Titans have a lot of players that are free agents this year and with a new coaching staff and new schemes, there probably will be a lot of personnel changes this offseason. Here’s the list of Titans free agents and whether or not you can expect to see them in a Titans uniform again.

Offense

 

WR Donnie Avery-

It took all season for the Titans to actually get any actual production out of him. Avery still has the talent, I’m just not sure the Titans are gonna give him the chance to prove it. With a crowded receiving group and some pretty big names being free agents, it’s debatable. I’d like to see him back but I don’t think it’s gonna happen.

 

WR Lavelle Hawkins-

Hawkins has been here for four years and this year was the first year he actually got to see the field. He showed vast improvement over the season and showed a lot of fight. The question is, was it enough? He had 49 receptions for 470 yards. It’s not impressive but it doesn’t tell the story of how he finished the season, how he fought for extra yards and first downs. It’s hard to say, but if I listen to my head instead of my heart, it says Hawkins won’t be resigned.

 

FB Ahmard Hall- 

This one will come down to money. The Titans will want him back. He’s a big part of this teams character and pride as a former marine. He’s 32 and the Titans could sign him to a 3-4 year contract, so that he could retire a Titan. There are two things that shouldn’t be overlooked though. The first has already been spoken of; money. The second is if the Titans are looking to trim some fat to bring in some bigger name contracts via free agency, Hall could be just that. The Titans have Quinn Johnson, the fullback they acquired from the Packers earlier in the season. He was recently brought back and could be signed for half as much as it would take for Hall. The Tennessean reports that he’s not “optimistic” about being able resigned.

 

OT Mike Otto-

Otto is an okay backup, but I doubt he comes back. It depends on how the Titans feel about Byron Stingily, as he could very well take Otto’s spot as a backup lineman. The o-line is gonna go through some changes this offseason. Otto probably won’t be back.

 

OG Jake Scott-

It’d be pretty surprising if Scott didn’t return to the lineup. The real problem with the Titans’ offensive line lies with the center Eugene Amano and guard Leroy Harris. But that’s another article… As long as they can afford him, Scott should be back.

 

TE Craig Stevens-

Stevens is a great blocking tight end and was to showcase his playmaking ability a couple times this year. He’s an underrated player and I’d be amazed if he wasn’t resigned. He’s a better blocker than Graham and has a great pair of hands. He’ll be a Titan next season.

 

C Fernando Velasco-

Velasco has been on this team and off it multiple times in his first two years. I’d take that to mean they see something in him. He say the field a little bit this year, filling in for injuries, and did well enough then. I’d say he comes back as a backup again, though it may be through the practice squad again.

 

 

Defense

 

 

SS Jordan Babineaux- 

Babineaux has been a great signing. He played well enough to take Chris Hopes safety position from him and made good tackles. It wasn’t out of this world, lights out type play, but it was solid. I’d be surprised if they didn’t bring him back for at least another year.

 

SS Chris Hope-

Hope’s done in Tennessee. It’s been a great run but his play has fallen off and he’s an aging back who lost his starting role to Jordan Babineaux while he was gone with a broken forearm. Even if they did want to resign him, the contract he would want would be more than he’s worth. He won’t be a Titan next season.

 

FS Michael Griffin-

Griffin is a huge question. His play this year has been questionable at best. Jerry Gray called out Griffin’s play at least once. The problem with letting Griffin go is that there’s just not a lot of talent out there. The best other free agents FS that will be available are Brandon Meriweather (Bears), LaRon Landry (Redskins), and Jim Leonhard (Jets). Landry and Leonhard ended the season with injuries while Meriweather is a big play sellout that would be a downgrade from Griffin. Unless the Titans think they can find someone better in the draft or know of another good safety not listed here, they need to resign him. I just have a feeling they won’t.

 

FS Anthony Smith- 

Smith has basically been just a roster filler. He’s a decent special teams player and could be resigned. He could just as easily be let go, which is what I think will happen.

 

CB Cortland Finnegan-

I sure hope Finnegan gets resigned. He had an amazing year, even if his stats don’t show it. He was a big leader this offseason during the lock and and brought that into regular season. He hasn’t heard from them and doubts whether they resign him but I just can’t see how they don’t. He’d be a huge loss if the Titans don’t resign him.

 

LB Patrick Bailey-

I just don’t think it’s in the stars for Bailey. He’s a decent special teams player but doesn’t really have a huge impact. Bailey will probably be let go.

 

LB Barrett Ruud-

No way Ruud is back next year. One and done. His play was terrible. Ruud cost the Titans at least one game and was easily outplayed by the rookie Colin McCarthy. Ruud’s as good as gone.

 

LB Tim Shaw-

Shaw was a team captain this year. The new Titans era has been all about positive vibes and good leadership. Shaw wouldn’t demand a large contract and I think the Titans will be glad to have him back.

 

DT Malcolm Sheppard-

Another smaller name, Sheppard is a decent rotational player and another young guy. He could easily be brought back. It all depends on how  Coaches Gray and Rocker feel about the line.

 

DE William Hayes-

This is a tough one. It depends on how Gray feels about him. I expect the DE position to undergo some changes this offseason. This was Hayes least productive year thus far. He suffered a rough knee injury in 2010 and played even less in 2011. He’s still a young guy with good size and decent talent but I don’t think he’ll be back.

 

DE Dave Ball-

Ball will be back. He’s an important part of the DE rotation and the Titans are already thin on talent there. They should be able to resign Ball for a reasonable amount of money.

 

DE Jason Jones-

I’m not so sure Jones returns this next year. He has always had trouble staying healthy and the move to DE hasn’t been the most successful. Jones has stayed healthy but his production took a big drop from when he was in at DT. The Titans might give him another shot at it, being he didn’t really have any offseason to adjust to the position change. That’s questionable though. This position will probably be addressed in the draft.

 

Along the same lines, here are practice squad members who were just given new contracts.

Via the Tennessean.com:

The Titans on Monday agreed to terms with the following players on futures contracts:

  • RB Herb Donaldson
  • G Ryan Durand
  • DE Pannel Egboh
  • TE Cameron Graham
  • WR James Kirkendoll
  • T Troy Kropog
  • WR Michael Preston
  • CB Terrence Wheatley

All those players were on the team’s practice squad in 2011.

 

 

You can find me on Twitter @JustinLStewart or @Titan_Sized. You can also find us on Facebook! 

 

GO TITANS!!!

 

Topics: Ahmard Hall, Anthony Smith, Barrett Ruud, Cameron Graham, Chris Hope, Cortland Finnegan, Craig Stevens, Dave Ball, Donnie Avery, Fernando Velasco, Free Agency, Herb Donaldson, Jake Scott, James Kirkendoll, Jason Jones, Jordan Babineaux, Kevin Curtis, Lavelle Hawkins, Malcom Sheppard, Michael Griffin, Michael Preston, Mike Otto, NFL, Pannel Egboh, Patrick Bailey, Ryan Durand, Tennessee Titans, Tennessee Titans Free Agents, Terrence Wheatley, Tim Shaw, Troy Kropog, William Hayes

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  • bulletproofrew

    interesting year for the titans, a lot of major role players to decide on, and maybe the most underrated CB in all of the NFL in Cortland Finnegan. I also really like Griffin and i have seen him be a top flight safety in the league but has seemed to get lost out there the past couple of years. Id like to see us pick up a more physical safety like landry to play SS and let griffin play more ball hawk where he seemed to shine a few years ago. the biggest concerns to me is the teams Offensive philosophy, which was hard to spot late in the year. after the second half of the season started our goal was to be the leading rushing team in the league, but they seemed to abandon it early in games, and turn to a pass happy west coast team, which isn’t where the team needs to go.

    I don’t know where they will lean next year witht he QB situation and CJ coming off his worse year, which he still had over 1K and 4 YPC which is not bad, but he needs a counter punch (maybe Harper, or a veteran back) just not RINGER!! he was horrible this year, all around average player.

    hoping for a more consistent year for the Titans.

  • bulletproofrew

    interesting year for the titans, a lot of major role players to decide on, and maybe the most underrated CB in all of the NFL in Cortland Finnegan. I also really like Griffin and i have seen him be a top flight safety in the league but has seemed to get lost out there the past couple of years. Id like to see us pick up a more physical safety like landry to play SS and let griffin play more ball hawk where he seemed to shine a few years ago. the biggest concerns to me is the teams Offensive philosophy, which was hard to spot late in the year. after the second half of the season started our goal was to be the leading rushing team in the league, but they seemed to abandon it early in games, and turn to a pass happy west coast team, which isn’t where the team needs to go.

    I don’t know where they will lean next year witht he QB situation and CJ coming off his worse year, which he still had over 1K and 4 YPC which is not bad, but he needs a counter punch (maybe Harper, or a veteran back) just not RINGER!! he was horrible this year, all around average player.

    hoping for a more consistent year for the Titans.

  • justinstewartphotography

    @bulletproofrew It was hard to run CJ with the O-line being so terrible in the run blocking department.

    Ideally the perfect counter to CJ would be Peyton Hillis, who’ll be a free agent, but it ain’t gonna happen. He’ll want to much money and the Titans will need that money for other positions.

    QB position will be an open competition between Locker and Hasselbeck. Be interesting to see how that plays out.

  • justinstewartphotography

    @bulletproofrew It was hard to run CJ with the O-line being so terrible in the run blocking department.

    Ideally the perfect counter to CJ would be Peyton Hillis, who’ll be a free agent, but it ain’t gonna happen. He’ll want to much money and the Titans will need that money for other positions.

    QB position will be an open competition between Locker and Hasselbeck. Be interesting to see how that plays out.