While outside free agents are the more exciting figures, the Tennessee Titans have made some important internal personnel moves.
The additions of Malcolm Butler and Dion Lewis got the fans excited. The prospect of signing a blue-chip player in Ndamukong Suh has fans salivating. But while all of the outside stuff has been happening, Tennessee Titans GM Jon Robinson has been making internal moves that have fortified or re-shaped the roster.
The Titans’ original internal moves involved releasing DeMarco Murray, Matt Cassel, Da’Norris Searcy and Eric Weems. Check out what the Titans have done as of late with their own free agents so far in this offseason.
After the initial release of four Titans players, Robinson’s first big move after the additions of Butler and Lewis was re-signing Kline. Kline got $26M over four years from the Titans, with $12M of that guaranteed. It may seem a hefty price tag for a player who was rather inconsistent last season, but Kline is expected to be a natural fit in OC Matt LaFleur’s zone blocking scheme.
A day after Kline was brought back, Jones was re-signed to a three-year, $21M deal. Through his first three seasons in Nashville, Jones was a solid run defender who didn’t offer much beyond that. In 2017, Jones showed an added natural pass-rush ability before a biceps injury ended his season. If Jones can build on the hot streak he was on and become a 5.0 sack guy to go along with his run-stopping prowess, this will be a screaming value for the Titans.
The other of the Titans’ guards that was set to be a free agent, Spain’s situation was much different than Kline’s. Spain was a restricted free agent, so other teams couldn’t just negotiate with him freely on the open market. The Titans ended up tendering Spain, which allows them to match any offer Spain may get from another team. This gave the Titans some flexibility, but it wasn’t exactly a ringing endorsement of Spain by the front office.
After seven seasons with the Titans Klug was handed his walking papers. A perennial fan favorite, Klug earned his way into the Titans’ defensive line rotation as a fifth round rookie and never looked back. He was consistently one of the Titans’ most effective pass rushers, despite being limited to a rotational role. Klug’s release doesn’t really move the needle for the Titans in terms of needing to add defensive line depth. The Titans are still deep at the position and only need to add maybe one more player in the mold of Klug.
Klug’s release was made easier because King was re-signed to a one-year deal. Acquired from Kansas City during the season, King was a solid contributor when given the opportunity in 2017. King is a more athletic version of Klug, but hasn’t yet proven to be nearly the effective pass-rusher Klug has been. We’ll see if King can impress in a contract year.
The most recent notable move the Titans’ front office has made was releasing Sly Williams just one day before $2.5M of his 2018 base salary was set to be guaranteed. Signed to a three-year, $16.5M deal also offseason, just about every fan was perplexed by the deal at the time. Williams performed admirably in 2017 as a rotational lineman, but never made the impact Jon Robinson and presumably Dick LeBeau were expecting, especially for his salary. With a new DC in town, Robinson made sure to wipe the slate clean and let Pees pick and choose his linemen.