The biggest reason why the Tennessee Titans won’t cut Taylor Lewan
By Will Lomas
Taylor Lewan is the longest-tenured Tennessee Titans (excluding special teamers), but one of the team’s biggest questions this offseason is whether or not he will be on the 2022 roster.
Right now the Titans are $8 million over the salary cap, but no one should be panicking. In fact, when you look at real dollars spent in 2022, Tennessee is just outside of the top-10 in potential cap space.
All that means is that if the Titans want to make cap space, they can and they can do a lot of that through restructures instead of outright cuts.
The easiest decision in the world would be for the Tennessee Titans to restructure Taylor Lewan’s deal and bring down his $14 million cap, but that would require more guaranteed money and that may not be something that the front office wants to do.
Why the Tennessee Titans won’t cut Taylor Lewan
If they can’t restructure his contract then the team is really only left with three options.
First, they could just keep him around for another year at his current cap hit. $14 million sounds like a lot of money, but he wouldn’t even be paid like one of the top-10 players at his position with that price tag.
While he is going to be 31 this summer, the good news is that he should be in store for a great season. Historically it takes most players 18+ months to fully recover from an ACL tear, and Lewan tore his after the first month of the 2020 season.
2021 was about getting healthy enough to get on the field, but 2022 will be about getting back to 100% and playing his best football. If that is the case, then he is worth every penny and the Titans could create more cap space through other means.
The second option is that they could cut him.
It is possible that the Titans see Taylor Lewan like Malcolm Butler or Logan Ryan, guys who played well right up until the end of their time in Tennessee who had to be let go to open up cap space so that the team could improve in different areas.
Taylor Lewan’s backup is already on the roster in the form of Dillon Radunz, and left tackle suits Radunz more than right tackle or either guard spot because of his 33 consecutive starts at left tackle in college.
Still, cutting him isn’t a smart decision. That brings me to the third option the Titans have, which is trading Lewan.
If Taylor Lewan still has three or four more good years at left tackle, there are going to be plenty of teams who are willing to take a chance on him for a Day 2 or an early Day 3 pick. I mean, we are a year removed from the Miami Dolphins trading a 7th round pick for Isaiah Wilson.
A trade creates as much cap space as a cut would, and the team that trades for him will be getting a left tackle who costs $12.9 million in his first season and who has no guaranteed money in 2022 or 2023. That means that he would be a really low-risk, high-reward trade at a premium position.
I’m not sure what happens when Lewan, but the more you look at his contract and the flexibility in that contract, the more you realize that cutting him has to be the last resort. That would be tough for Lewan who loves this team and the city of Nashville, and it would be tough for the team to get nothing for one of the best players the team has drafted since they moved to Tennessee.