Rick Wagner fits the Tennessee Titans
Before the 2020 NFL Draft, I didn’t think the Tennessee Titans needed to spend a first or a second round pick on an offensive tackle. A year later I think I was proven right, but maybe that isn’t something the front office agrees with, so let’s talk about it.
Isaiah Wilson is clearly out the door as soon as they can find a way to get out of giving him his guaranteed money and all things considered I think they should be able to find a way to do that.
If they do, then they will get out of a 3 year/$9.5 million contract and they will also be back to where they were before the 2020 NFL Draft…with a little bit more information.
Now they know that this offense will work (at a high level) with Dennis Kelly at right tackle. They also know that they managed to have one of the best offenses in the NFL with Ty Sambrailo and David Quessenberry each playing more snaps than Pro Bowl left tackle Taylor Lewan.
I’m not saying offensive tackle isn’t important, but I am saying that losing an offensive tackle or two isn’t going to derail this Titans offense.
Still, I don’t think that the Tennessee Titans are going to agree with me. With Sambrailo set to hit free agency, that does leave a hole in the depth behind the two starting tackles.
I have been trying to look at some names that might interest the Titans in the late Day 2/early Day 3 range of the 2021 NFL Draft. However, something interesting happen yesterday:
The Green Bay Packers cut Rick Wagner to save some cap space. (Side note here, I always thought that his name was Ricky Wagner, so seeing “Rick Wagner” is weird to me.)
Let’s do some math!
Last year, this is what the Titans spent on backup offensive tackles:
-$1.5 million (Ty Sambrailo)
-1st round pick (Wilson)
-$2.1 million (Wilson)
-$850,000 prorated to $400,000 (Quessenberry)
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Pool all of that money together and you get $4.4 million and the value of a 1st round pick. The reason I bring all of that up is because the Titans used all of those resources to try to make sure that they had the left and right tackle spots backed up to keep the offense running smoothly.
Well, Rick Wagner just so happens to have experience at both right and left tackle and he actually started at both spots last year for the Green Bay Packers. All that cost the Packers was a $5 million contract, which after state taxes means he actually only brought home $4.62 million.
2021 is going to see a lot of players take cheaper, one-year deals so that they can cash out after 2021 when the cap situation is (hopefully) resolved.
If the Titans really feel like they need that backup swing tackle in this offense, move on from Sambrailo, Quessenberry, and Wilson and get someone who is much more proven in the NFL.
Not only is Rick Wagner proven as an NFL lineman, but he is a lineman who has proven that he fits in a ZBS scheme similar to what the Titans are running. Coming from Green Bay he will immediately be familiar with this style and that adds another layer of security for the Titans when considering an offer.
I don’t think they need to do anything special on the offensive line this offseason, but even I can agree that “trading” the cost of Ty Sambrailo, Isaiah Wilson, and David Quessenberry, for the cost of Rick Wagner is a no-brainer.
Ultimately this move would mean that the Titans wouldn’t have to draft an offensive tackle in the 4th or 5th round, and when Jon Robinson has been able to take his pick of talent at the top of Day 3 the Titans have ended up with guys like Amani Hooker, Jayon Brown, and Tajae Sharpe.