The Tennessee Titans’ offensive line is going to be the top priority in free agency, and we still don’t even know how many positions are going to need to be replaced.
Even though we know Taylor Lewan and Aaron Brewer are going to be out of the starting lineup, there are still plenty of questions. Is Ben Jones retiring? Will Nate Davis be back? What is Jamarco Jones still doing on the roster?
The good news is that Titans fans should get some relief in a week once free agency starts.
First of all, forget about cap space. In 2024 the Titans will have around $150 million in cap space and even if they don’t do anything with Derrick Henry or Ryan Tannehill’s contracts, they will still have a top-10 cap situation.
If they want a player (or multiple players) they can get a deal done.
After some big-name players avoided the franchise tag, the free agent pool seems a lot deeper than anyone thought it was going to be on the offensive line. Here is how the Tennessee Titans can make a giant step toward a great offensive line with just two free agent deals.
The Tennessee Titans have to target one player from each of these pools
Nicholas Petit-Frere is going to be a starter on the Titans’ offensive line out of necessity, but I think that he has room to grow and develop into a quality starting lineman for this team.
He has the size to play inside and the quickness to play outside, so it isn’t hard to imagine a path to him starting at either tackle or guard positions this season. That gives you the flexibility to leave the door open on any opportunity, specifically signing a right tackle.
With that disclaimer, here are the two pools of talent that the Tennessee Titans need to be looking at. I have ranked them by what I think the Titans will value, not necessarily by who is the best player.
Potential Pro Bowl/All-Pro tackles
1. Kaleb McGary, RT
2. Mike McGlinchey, RT
3. Orlando Brown, LT
4. Jawann Taylor, RT
Signing one of these players should (in theory) mean that you have now added a player who can be one of your top two most talented linemen every year for half a decade. It doesn’t matter how much you spend on one of these guys because they are going to be charged with protecting your rookie quarterback whenever that change comes.
Since McGary and McGlinchey both have connections to the Tennessee Titans’ staff, I think they are much more likely to be the targets.
Very good interior linemen
1. Isaac Seumalo, RG/LG
2. Dalton Risner, LG
3. Nate Davis, RG
4. Ben Powers, LG
Seumalo is obviously the cream of the crop here. While he isn’t elite, he has started full seasons at right and left guard so you aren’t forced to play him on one side.
Interior offensive linemen tend to get overpaid when they have name value, especially if they are former high draft picks. Between that and injury concerns, I expect the Titans to steer clear of this center class that is really just Garrett Bradbury and Ethan Pocic.
Now, you might be asking how signing just one player from each pool will fix the Tennessee Titans’ offensive line. Well, those moves won’t do it by themselves, but there are a few other things to factor in.
First, I expect that Corey Levin will be the Tennessee Titans’ starting center next season. He should be cheap, familiar with the Titans’ coaching staff, and an above-average athlete. Even more importantly, he stepped up when they needed him and in his three starts last year he was one of PFF’s highest-ranked centers each week.
If Corey Levin is at center and NPF is going to fill one guard or tackle spot, then that leaves the Ran Carthon just three holes to fill on the Tennessee Titans offensive line.
I also expect their first-round pick to be one of the premier offensive linemen in this class. Paris Johnson, Peter Skoronski, and Broderick Jones all fit the bill and the first two have the position flexibility to play at guard or tackle.
So, if the Tennessee Titans truly prioritize offensive line and they go out and sign one player from each of those pools a realistic offensive line could look like this:
Left Tackle: Paris Johnson
Left Guard: Nicholas Petit-Frere
Center: Corey Levin
Right Guard: Isaac Seumalo
Right Tackle: Kaleb McGary
Behind them would be Dillon Radunz and Jamarco Jones who (if healthy) should be decent backups at the very least.
After that, the Tennessee Titans would still have money to spend in free agency and they would still have a high second and third-round draft pick to spend on a deep class of tight ends, cornerbacks, running backs, and EDGEs.
Regardless of whether this team is trying to win now or rebuild, these are moves that make sense short-term and long-term, so there isn’t any reason why these moves shouldn’t be made if the players are willing.