As the Tennessee Titans head into the offseason, the buzzword that the team keeps repeating is “collaboration.”
For the most part, I think the idea that more collaboration is going to change anything is being overstated. Were there disagreements between Jon Robinson and Mike Vrabel? Absolutely, but the two attended pro days together and worked closely together throughout their time together with the Tennessee Titans. These weren’t two people who worked in separate buildings and never spoke to each other or guys that made moves without consulting the other.
Until further notice, all bad decisions by the Mike Vrabel/Jon Robinson era Tennessee Titans are being put squarely on Robinson’s shoulders and only time is going to tell us whether that is fair or accurate. As we wait for clarity there, let’s shift focus to the murky waters the Titans are in now.
It is pretty evident that final control of the coaching staff still rests with Mike Vrabel and I would be shocked if Mike Vrabel wasn’t set up to get his way (much) more often than not when it comes to roster control and construction.
In the NFL Draft I think the two will work together to identify scheme fits and formulate the best plan for each pick, but if the two are split between two players and Carthon’s job description is to “get Mike Vrabel players that fit what he wants.” then that tie is always going to go Vrabel’s way.
However, that doesn’t mean that Carthon’s opinions won’t hold weight. In fact, I think there is one crucial part of the process where Carthon’s experience will be a game-changer.
Ran Carthon’s veteran impact on the Tennessee Titans
The bulk of Carthon’s career has been spent scouting NFL players around the league.
On the surface, that means that you should expect him to be able to look at the class of free agents and figure out which guys are worth spending money on and which guys aren’t. When you think about it for a while, it actually goes deeper than that.
Not only will Carthon have knowledge about is on the free agent market, but he should also be able to look at this roster through the same lens. He should be able to answer questions about whether David Long Jr. and Nate Davis are worth new contracts or if their money would be better spent elsewhere.
Better yet, Carthon should be able to look at what Robert Woods and Bud Dupree did on the field last year and evaluate how much money a cut/trade would save the team and how many players there are on rosters across the NFL(including his own) that could replace them effectively.
For example, is Bud Dupree worth the contract he is making? The difference in the defense when he is on the field compared to when he isn’t on the field makes it evident that he clearly has some value, but is there a player in the combination that can do what he is doing for cheaper? Because if that is the case then you can trade/cut Dupree, sign a sleeper, and pocket the difference to spend on other positions of need.
The same goes for all of the veterans that are on the chopping block as well as potential trade candidates like Ryan Tannehill, Derrick Henry, Kristian Fulton, etc.
Ran Carthon’s entire career has been built on making intelligent decisions with NFL players and finding ways to identify which players they can replace and which ones they have to lock up and build around.
In a drastic world where there are big cuts and trades made, the Tennessee Titans can get up to about $60 million in available cap space and they could add draft picks along the way.
Even if they only make the obvious cuts and don’t restructure any contracts, that would still bring them up to more than $25 million in available cap space. Someone like Carthon should be able to maximize that value and build a very strong supporting cast this offseason with those resources.
We will find out exactly what Mike Vrabel and Ran Carthon think about this roster in the coming months, but everything is on the table right now.