Prior to the new 2016 NFL Salary Cap numbers, the Tennessee Titans had approximately $25 Million in cap space, leaving the new head coach and general manager(whomever they may be) some flexibility in filling holes in this anemic line-up when Free Agency opens up on March 9th.
One could throw a dart at the Titans depth chart and be guaranteed at hitting a position with needs after only totaling five wins in the past two seasons.
After reviewing Erik Lambert’s January 8th article over at FanSided’s NFL Mocks site entitled 2016 Mock Free Agency: The Spending Spree Begins, I decided to do a little shopping for the Titans and their future needs in 2016.
Keep in mind, some of the potential free agents will be fitted with new franchise tags and many will re-negotiate with their current employers and never hit the market, so this list is purely speculation and a fan’s ability to shop with no consequences.
Let’s get with it!
Eric Berry (S)
With Eric Berry’s connection to the state of Tennessee, this is probably the most interesting of all free agents, but Erik Lambert feels like Berry will get the franchise tag while the team gets the rest of their house in order, and never hit the open market.
My colleague here at Titan Sized, Will Lomas said in an earlier article that Berry is ranked in the top five safeties in the league by Pro Football Focus and would be an easy sell to the fans in Music City.
The 2015 season was probably the last for Michael Griffin who leads the team annually in tackles, and he will likely become a salary cap casualty.
The Titans secondary was a sore spot for this team last year, and with the return of Jason McCourty and moving Perrish Cox to a nickle package, adding Eric Berry to the lineup would bring some solidity to the back-end of a pretty good defense.
Matt Forte (RB)
I have felt for sometime that the one thing missing in the Titans backfield was a grizzled veteran who could be a mentor for the youngsters they are trying to bring along, while giving them a much needed threat on third down.
I wrote an earlier article when Forte was out of the lineup in Chicago with injuries and his future in the “Windy City” was in question and was someone the Titans should be looking at before the trading deadline in November.
Forte has historically been a back the Chicago Bears could pencil in for a 1000 all-purpose yards every year. Not only, at age 30, he is still a downhill running back who can catch a pass, or provide a needed block for the quarterback.
Matt Forte will likely re-sign with the Bears and want’s to retire as a Bear, but if he becomes available, I feel like the Titans should take a hard look.
Cordy Glenn (OT)
I really liked what Delanie Walker had to say on the J-Mac show when he said the Titans don’t need another rookie on the offensive line, what they need are some veterans.
The Buffalo Bills are highly unlikely to let Glenn go in free agency, but this is a “dream list” and anything goes. Rex Ryan has already been told that he needs to win in 2016, and letting good offensive linemen get away is not the key to making that happen.
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Glenn could offer the veteran leadership this team needs in the trenches to help keep Marcus Mariota on his feet, and off of the injured reserve list.
He has done an excellent job this year in keeping Tyrod Taylor upright and healthy, and could do the same in Music City.
Russell Okung (OT)
Russell Okung is an interesting possibility that will probably not survive the salary cap problems in Seattle after the season is over.
The Seahawks had trouble keeping Russell Wilson upright earlier in the season, and with the excellent coaching coming from Tom Cable, who I think is one of the best offensive line coaches in the NFL, have turned that thing around and will be hard to beat in the playoffs once again.
Erik Lambert has Okung being signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and my question is, why not Nashville?
He could bring the ideas from a genius like Cable to a team in dire need of offensive line help.
Peyton Manning (QB)
I know you are going to think I’ve lost my mind here, but hear me out before you dismiss this idea.
At age 40 and probably on his last hurrah in Denver whether they win a Super Bowl or not, Manning has already said he might want to play one more year.
He’s probably going to want another opportunity to get to the Super Bowl and Erik Lambert is predicting he might go to the New York Jets for a final run.
If the future Hall of Famer is looking for a place to land when his career is finally over, what better place than Nashville?
How about spending his last days mentoring Marcus Mariota and being on the sideline in case Mariota gets hurt again?
Let’s face it, Zach Mettenberger is 0-8 as a starter in his two years in Nashville, so having a 40 year-old backup is not such a bad idea. It worked pretty well for the Indianapolis Colts this year, they just didn’t have a good enough line to protect Matt Hasselbeck.
If Peyton Manning is looking for a place to light after his playing days are over, a job in the front office and possibilities of ownership if the “For Sale” sign does go up, what better place to start the rest of his football life than in Music City.
It’s a Win-Win for everybody!