The Tennessee Titans seem like a team that is being torn in two different directions right now.
On one hand, when Jon Robinson was fired as GM, everyone on the Tennessee Titans’ payroll from Mike Keith to Jim Wyatt to Amy Adams Strunk herself talked about how this team was going to be expected to compete in 2023.
That message has been a constant for the last few months and there has never been any wavering.
Which makes it even stranger that it seems like they are willing to let Nate Davis walk in free agency.
What is the Tennessee Titans’ plan?
The Titans had the worst offensive line in the NFL last season, but a massive reason for that was the combination of Todd Downing’s play calling, Keith Carter’s inability to make a single offensive lineman better at any point in his career, and Dennis Daley being Dennis Daley.
All three people are gone and it won’t be long before we officially see Taylor Lewan released. Another moving piece involves the heart of the Tennessee Titans offensive line because right now it seems like Ben Jones will be retiring by the end of the month, but nothing has been officially decided.
Now there is news this morning that suggests that the feeling inside the building is that Nate Davis will also be leaving as well. In Jim Wyatt’s latest mailbag, he said this about the Titans’ former(?) right guard:
"“Question: ‘Hey Jim! What are your thoughts on the status of the interior offensive line this offseason? I thought Corey Levin did a pretty good job when he was asked to step in, and I hope he’s back at least for depth. I’d like to see us bring back Nate Davis but from everything I’ve read, it seems as those most in the know feel he’s as good as gone.’Jim: ‘Hey Joe. Always good to hear from you. Hope you enjoyed the road trips I saw you on this season. I like Corey Levin as well, and I agree it would be good to get him back in the mix for depth. As for Davis, I’d be surprised if he’s back in 2023., he said he would be surprised to see the right guard back.'”"
Maybe Nate Davis will break the bank in free agency and the Tennessee Titans have already factored this into their decision. However, less than 24 hours ago I took a look at what his projected contract would be, and his projected $7 million AAV would make him the 14th highest-paid right guard in the NFL. That would be a bargain.
If everything keeps going the way that things are trending, the Titans would need four new starting offensive linemen this offseason. That is a very difficult thing to ask and if you assume that you won’t get the same bargain that you would have gotten with Nate Davis, you are basically wasting resources.
This is surprising, but it isn’t that surprising because Mike Vrabel has never really liked the idea of re-signing players who have had any sort of injury history. It has been put on Jon Robinson, but we are about to see just how much of the player retention was his fault.
Guys like Adoree Jackson, Jack Conklin, Corey Davis, and Jonnu Smith, would have been great to have on this roster, but they weren’t retained because of cost and injury history. If Nate Davis does sign somewhere on a team-friendly deal, then this would put more credibility into the idea that Vrabel just isn’t interested in re-signing players with any sort of injury history.
Like everything this season, fans are going to get to learn who really deserves the blame for some recent Titans blunders and whether Jon Robinson got the short end of the stick. Either way, this seems like a move that would set the team up for failure in a year where they are supposed to be competing.