There are three names that stand out as the biggest priority free agents for the Tennessee Titans.
Jon Robinson is an intelligent GM and the Tennessee Titans are fortunate to have someone so capable in charge.
Knowing that, it makes sense that he won’t let a player he believes to be a future long-term starter head out the door in free agency. He also won’t let them get leverage on him and the team when he can prevent it.
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What that means is that right now Jon Robinson and the rest of the front office is looking hard at impending cuts, the projected 53-man roster and other rosters around the league to figure out how to build the best team for today, the near future and long-term.
After all the preseason smoke clears I bet that there will be some shake up at positions like ILB, CB and EDGE because those are the positions that I think need to be addressed in the next offseason.
However, since I don’t know who is going to be on another team’s roster (and neither does Robinson) I imagine a lot of time is being spent on finding which players the Titans need to sign long-term.
For Robinson, I imagine that there are a few things he wants to see from these players. The most important qualities being, production, age, future position depth both on the roster and with impending FAs, and cost.
A recent report from NFL Mocks says that Josh Kline should be the Tennessee Titans biggest offseason priority. Read what Erik Lambert said below:
“Kline is still pretty young and getting better. The Titans didn’t make any significant moves to threaten his job security. So the smart money says they’re quite comfortable keeping him in the job. Much of what happens moving forward depends on his performance in 2017. If he balls out, then he could gain some leverage in the negotiations. Otherwise the Titans should be able to get him on a team-friendly deal without need of a franchise tag.”
Those are all good points, I would bet that Jon Robinson sees Kline as a long term Titans either as a starter or a backup interior lineman. However, there are two players I would argue are more important to sign.
Avery Williamson ILB
I am very back and forth on Williamson. I think he can be a great player in the NFL, but in this Dick LeBeau scheme he seemed to be left coverage a tight end often. On those plays, he had some big missteps that allowed game changing and game losing plays.
Now, I don’t think that is entirely his fault. The team should have recognized that Williamson is like Vontaze Burfict, Todd Davis and Paul Posluszny. He is a guy who is going to make his money stuffing runs between the tackles, which is important on any defense.
However, the addition of Jayon Brown shows that the Titans know they need speed and coverage ability to pair with him. If Brown and Woodyard can be the rangy linebackers that pairs with Williamson on different plays, I think he should be a long-term starter for this team.
Based on what he has done in the past and his age, I think something around $5.5 or $6 million per year makes a lot of sense for both sides.
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Ryan Succop K
This is the guy who I think is being underrated in these talks.
Ryan Succop was 8 of 8 (100%) on kicks from 40-49 yards out and was 3 of 5 (60%) on kicks of 50+ yards, one of those being the amazing game winner in KC where the ball was made of ice.
Only two kickers in the NFL kicked at least 8 from 40-49 and 5 from 50+ and had better numbers and they were Justin Tucker and Matt Bryant.
That is amazing and what is more amazing is those two missed FGs of 50 yards or more were his only two misses of the year. Again, his 91.7% completion percentage was only beaten by Tucker and Bryant.
Succop will be 31 at the beginning of this season which is like halfway through a career for a kicker. To give you a reference point, one of the two kickers to best Succop last year (Bryant) is 42!
So if you offer Succop a 5 year, $20 million contract with $11 million guaranteed it would make him the 3rd highest paid kicker in the NFL. That is a manageable contract for a player that looks like he will win you two or three games per year.