NFL free agency and salary cap update
Free agency is 40 days away as I am writing this and that is both exciting and terrifying for Tennessee Titans fans.
On one hand, this is a great chance to attack the EDGE position and bring in veteran pass rushers who know what they are doing. For a defense that was one of the worst in the NFL last year, this is much more appealing than drafting an EDGE and hoping that the Titans coaching staff can develop anyone on that side of the ball.
Then on the other hand you have to look at the free agents that the TItans might lose and get a little bit nervous. Jon Robinson has made good decisions in the past, but the idea of signing a tight end and a banged-up linebacker before one of the most effective receivers per target in the NFL is a scary (and real) scenario.
Unfortunately, the Titans can’t really start the hard conversations they need to have about their upcoming free agency moves because they have no idea how much they will be allowed to spend this offseason.
At least, nothing is set in stone.
Apparently, the working theory is that NFL teams believe that they think they will have somewhere around $185-190 million to spend in free agency this year.
"The NFL and NFLPA began preliminary negotiations last month on the 2021 salary cap. Some team officials believe (and surely hope) the cap will ultimately land closer to $185 million per club — if not a little higher — than the $175 million minimum the sides agreed to last summer as they braced for empty and mostly empty stadiums."
Just for the sake of using round numbers, let’s be optimistic and say that the cap is $190 million this year. That means that the Titans should have right around $4 million in cap space for the upcoming season.
Before you panic…
This is crucial to understand. While the Titans don’t have a lot of cap space now, they are the 4th best team in the NFL in terms of how much money they have actually committed to spending.
That means that they have an incredible amount of flexibility this offseason and it means that restructures and cuts are going to be a huge part of this offseason.
The Tennessee Titans and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the only teams in the top-8 of “cap flexibility” that made the playoffs and have a quarterback under contract. That means that they have the most expensive position in the NFL locked down and should still be able to find a lot of money if they need/want it.
Overall the higher the cap is, the better it is for everyone. However, the key is cap flexibility and what the Titans can convince their players and potential free agents to do with their contracts going forward.
On paper they can do whatever they want, now let’s see if they can do it in practice.