Tennessee Titans fans are focusing on the wrong free agent tackle

Tennessee Titans Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
Tennessee Titans Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports /

Ran Carthon helped build the Super Bowl-caliber roster that the San Francisco 49ers have now, but that doesn’t mean that those are the only free agents that Tennessee Titans fans should be familiar with.

Specifically, most fans think that if Mike McGlinchey hits free agency, he is going to be the top priority for the Tennessee Titans. However, it is crucial to remember what Ran Carthon was hired to do.

If the goal was to build a team that Carthon thought would work, then McGlinchey would be an easy fit since the two have worked together before. However, Carthon’s job is to supply Mike Vrabel with people that fit what Mike Vrabel wants.

The more I think about it, the more I think that Vrabel might pick Kaleb McGary over Mike McGlinchey if he was given the chance.

Why the Tennessee Titans might prefer the “other” tackle

Neither McGary nor McGlinchey has medical red flags, but Mike McGlinchey is the only one to have a season-ending injury in the NFL. While McGary has had one MCL sprain that caused him to miss two games, McGlinchey tore his quad in 2021.

Another reason why McGary makes more sense as a fit is his athleticism. McGlinchey doesn’t struggle to do anything in space, but he doesn’t quite look like a gliding freight train in the way that McGary does.

There is a reason for that as well. While Mike McGlinchey didn’t run the 40 or do any change of direction drills, McGary did. According to RAS, he is one of the most athletic linemen in the NFL and he does that all while carrying 315 lb. well.

If you believe in PFF numbers, they favor McGary over McGlinchey as well, both as a run blocker and a pass blocker.

Finally, he comes from the Atlanta Falcons which means he has connections with Arthur Smith and Charles London. In case you had forgotten, Arthur Smith was the best thing to ever happen to Vrabel as a coach and London was just hired to be the Tennessee Titans QB coach/Pass Game Coordinator.

The Tennessee Titans have to be open to the idea of moving Nicholas Petit-Frere to guard or to left tackle when it comes to free agency because they need to take as many guaranteed hits as they can get. With a young and unproven offensive line coach, it is infinitely safer to pay guys that already know how to win in the NFL rather than trust him to coach up rookies.

Both of those tackles are going to make about $15 million per year, and if both guys hit the market then the Tennessee Titans should be in on both. However, when you get down to splitting hairs, McGary should get the nod and should be viewed as the favorite.