The Will Lomas plan
The goal for the Titans this offseason should be:
-Find a way to break Trevor Lawrence before he develops into a good player
-Sustain your own offense
To get the money to do either one of those things, we have to start talking about the salary cap. With $2 million right now, the Titans reasonably need to create about $30 million to get everything they want done.
First, the Titans need to make a tough choice on Adoree Jackson or Malcolm Butler. With both corners set to make nearly $30 million in 2021, that just isn’t sustainable since we haven’t seen them on the field together in over 20 games.
Having said that, maybe there is a deal to be made here that satisfies everyone, at least for a year.
Right now Butler is on a contract that only has $4 million in guarantees over the next two years despite a $28.5 million cap hit. Instead of all that risk, what if the Titans restructured the deal and gave Butler $6 million in guaranteed money this season and in 2021 he made $6 million guaranteed with another $6 million possible. That triples Butler’s guaranteed money over the next two years and only reduces his potential earnings by $10 million. Most importantly, it creates $8 million in cap space for the Titans.
$10 million in cap space, $20 million to go.
Next let’s cover the OL. I have talked about a Taylor Lewan restructure before that creates $9 million in space in 2021 and Ben is a no-brainer for an extension. He should get extended from a 1-year/$7.5 million deal with $1 million guaranteed, to a 2-year, $20 million deal with $6 million guaranteed and with a $3 million cap hit in 2021.
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Those moves would create $13.5 million more in cap room.
The other $7 million could be made from Rodger Saffold and Kenny Vaccaro.
With that money, I would franchise tag Jonnu Smith and bring back Corey Davis on a multi-year deal. Defensively, everyone would be gone with the possible exception of Desmond King or DaQuan Jones.
I would make a hard push for Leonard Williams in free agency if he was available, but if he wasn’t on the table then I would push for Bud Dupree or Yannick Ngakoue. Either one is fine and if the Titans get Dupree then I would lean towards a more pure pass rusher in the draft. Vice versa with Ngakoue and a more physical EDGE in the draft.
So with that, the Titans prolific offense comes back completely in tact and on defense they lose some pieces, but get one blue-chip player in the front seven.
I think the defensive backs have the talent, the problem’s last year were on the coaches and no new talent is going to change that, so why would you waste those resources. The Titans should double up on DL/EDGE in the draft with two of their 1st/2nd Day picks and then go BPA with the other two.
In the end, I think that keeps the dominance of the offense in tact while also adding some splash players to the defense at positions where it actually matters.
Cut/let walk: No cuts, but everyone on defense can walk.
Extend: Ben Jones
Re-structure: Taylor Lewan, Rodger Saffold, Malcolm Butler, Kenny Vaccaro
Successfully sign: Corey Davis, Jonnu Smith (franchise tag), Yannick Ngakoue
Attempt to sign and fail: J.J. Watt, Leonard Williams