Above-average veterans and potential Pro Bowlers
This list is going to be in flux over the next three months and a lot depends on what the Tennessee Titans think their timeline is.
The whole reason behind the Jon Robinson firing was that she wants to win a ring and I don’t think she is expecting a full rebuild this offseason. If she thinks that this team can bounce back and compete after one offseason, then this is the list of players that I believe will be on the roster.
Derrick Henry, RB
This is a safe space and if we are all being honest we can admit that the last month and a half has been disappointing for Derrick Henry. Some frustrating days on the ground and two fumbles as a receiver have been the low points of this stretch for Henry.
Having said that, Henry won’t turn 30 until the 2024 season so he still might have some time left as a featured runner in the NFL.
Denico Autry, EDGE
As long as the Tennessee Titans pass rush has Jeffery Simmons and Harold Landry, I believe they can figure everything else out. Having said that, Denico Autry has been incredible over the last two years and even with a big contract, he is still a great value. If not for his injury, he would have been a Pro Bowler.
Kevin Byard and Amani Hooker, S
This is going to be a common theme, but injuries robbed us of seeing these two together at full strength for more than a month. These two can be the best safety tandem in the NFL, but Hooker has to stay healthy and Kevin Byard has to be allowed to take more risks and try to become a playmaker instead of just another guy in the secondary.
Ben Jones, OL
Jones has earned a spot on this roster as long as he wants one. Mike Vrabel isn’t going to cut him and he makes everyone around him better despite his age.
Harold Landry, EDGE
Landry will have a full offseason to attack rehab and get better from his ACL injury that happened just days before the opener. It is going to take time for him to get back to full strength, but for perspective, he should be more than a month ahead of where Robert Woods and Taylor Lewan were when they started the season in 2022 and 2021 respectively.
Jeffery Simmons, DL
If Simmons wasn’t playing through an ankle injury he would be an All-Pro and there has never been a player in NFL history that has more leverage over a GM than Simmons does.
Teair Tart, DL
A great UDFA find, Tart is another player who was having an incredible season over the first two months, but wear and tear and injuries have slowed down his domination.
Nate Davis, iOL
I don’t think Nate Davis is a top-5 guard in the NFL and he probably isn’t a top-10 guard in the NFL. However, the Titans have to start building their offensive line and they need to do it in a hurry.
Nicholas Petit-Frere has been as good as you can expect from a rookie right tackle and Dillon Radunz (more on him later) should absolutely win the left guard job next season. If they can upgrade left guard internally and find a left tackle, they could turn this offensive line around quickly.
David Long Jr., LB
Will he be back? I wasn’t sure before the offseason and the late-season I.R. stint doesn’t make him a sure thing, but remember how this all started. The GM that replaces Jon Robinson is going to have to fight off the untrue stigma of “the Titans don’t pay their good players” and that can’t start by letting David Long and Nate Davis walk in free agency.
He is a great linebacker when healthy and he adds an injection of speed and playmaking ability into a boring position, which is valuable.
Ryan Stonehouse, P
Stonehouse might be an All-Pro this season.
If AAS believes that a rebuild is going to take more than one offseason, the Tennessee Titans may need to consider moving on from Derrick Henry and Denico Autry given that they will be two years older by the time this team is ready to compete. History is not kind to players at their positions when they are that age.