The Tennessee Titans offseason dilemma: OL
By Will Lomas
The Tennessee Titans have an interesting decision ahead of them, and I am very curious to see how this turns out.
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Focusing on the offensive line for a second, the biggest addition on the offensive line this year wasn’t Jeremiah Poutasi or Andy Gallik, it was free agent Byron Bell. Bell has been a stalwart on the line and has played well at left guard and at right tackle.
Not only has he played well, but he was a vocal leader in the preseason who hasn’t said anything stupid in the preseason. That may sound simple, but it is very hard to have a passionate leader who doesn’t get himself in trouble on the offensive line and now the Titans have two in Bell and Taylor Lewan.
Bell is a free agent this offseason and the question is, what do the Titans do? Obviously you want to resign him, but do you pay him as a guard or a tackle? Will he finish the season on the right side or will he slide back inside at some point? I don’t know but it will be very interesting to see this offseason.
Now, compare that to Chance Warmack. The former Crimson Tide standout was a stud in college and was an absolute bully in the running game. He had heavy hands and leg drive that screamed elite run blocker.
Fast forward to now and the Titans have a tough decision to make. In two years Chance Warmack will be a free agent. With his name recognition and a good year, he could demand too much from a team that will have to pay Kendall Wright, Perrish Cox and Taylor Lewan in that time frame.
The question for Tennessee is where do you put your money. On one hand you have a solid player who has an average ceiling and is playing well for you. On the other hand, you have a player who has the potential to be a stud in this league with the right coaching and scheme. If the Titans bring in a coach like Hue Jackson, there is a chance that he can turn Warmack’s career around and make him a focal point of this offense.
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Honestly I think that this team is in a weird situation with these two, especially if the Titans think that Jeremiah Poutasi should be kicked inside to guard. At that point you have a cheap replacement at right guard who is younger and could have pretty good upside as well. Either way, in the next two years this offensive line will look a lot different in two years and if the Titans play this right they can have a cheap, talented unit that has a lot of young standouts. If not, they could end up having a player or two that leaves and goes to the right system and makes them look foolish.
Either way, you may want to start watching the offensive line more in the coming games especially at the right guard and right tackle position. If they play like they did last week and can run on that side like they did last week, then this could be your right side for a long time. If not, then who knows where these two will be over the next five years.