Free agency starts in a little over four weeks, and the Tennessee Titans have to figure out their needs.
That starts with deciding which of their own players they want to re-sign, cut, or let walk away. Ran Carthon, Mike Vrabel, and the Tennessee Titans staff should be pouring over the tape from the 2022 season and discussing any possible options.
There are a few names that are up in the air, but the decisions have been made about the majority of the Tennessee Titans’ impending free agents.
One of the names that I thought the Tennessee Titans had already decided on was left tackle Taylor Lewan. That was until the team’s official website released an article about his future where they interviewed him and he gave some interesting quotes.
Now, I’m starting to think that he might end up on the Titans’ payroll in 2023.
A unique situation for the Tennessee Titans and Taylor Lewan
If you read that article, two things become instantly clear about Taylor Lewan’s future. First, he knows he is going to be cut.
Secondly, he is either going to play in Nashville next year or he (most likely) won’t play anywhere at all. He isn’t excited about the idea of a one-year deal somewhere else where he might catch on because he loves it in Tennessee.
When you read those together, you might instantly jump to the idea of retirement for the Pro Bowl tackle, but not so fast. Cutting Lewan to clear up cap space and then re-signing him on a much more team-friendly deal seems to be something under consideration.
"“Obviously my contract is $14 million next year,” Lewan said. “If they come back and are like, ‘If you want to come back, this is the number we’ll bring you back at’ I’m sure there will be somewhat of a conversation of: How does your knee look? Are you interested in playing? Mike and I have a fantastic relationship. Mike and I talk, we text, he makes fun of me and Will on a group chat on a consistent basis. It’s a great relationship. So, there will be a lot of transparency and he’ll tell me how he feels and what he thinks and if he thinks that’s a good thing for them, then there is absolutely a conversation to be had”"
It would be hard to speculate on what a new deal could look like between Lewan and the Tennessee Titans because it is just such a strange situation. I do think it is fair to say that a new deal would involve very little guaranteed money and a lot of incentives based on playing time.
I have said that a clean break made the most sense, but if the Tennessee Titans decide to let Nate Davis walk when he could be signed to a reasonable contract and Ben Jones retires, then Ran Carthon and really the whole team are being set up to fail.
Replacing four starters on the offensive line is a daunting task. Over the last three years, I believe there have only been five teams that did that, Cincinnati Bengals (2022), L.A. Chargers (2021), Pittsburgh Steelers (2021), Kansas City Chiefs (2021), and Miami Dolphins (2020).
It is much more reasonable to replace three starters which is the position the Tennessee Titans would be in if they re-signed Lewan after he was cut.
This move wouldn’t have any impact on the draft because Paris Johnson and Peter Skoronski are two of the top-three tackle prospects and they could absolutely play guard if they were asked. The Titans could mess around and accidentally end up with the offensive tackles that they should have used last year with Nicholas Petit-Frere at right tackle, Taylor Lewan at left tackle, and Dillon Radunz playing swing tackle and backing both up.
There are moving pieces here, but this is another wrinkle that the Tennessee Titans have to consider over the next month.