3 Titans candidates to be cut going into the summer

Which veteran Tennessee Titans players are at the biggest risk of being cut this summer? We've identified three potential candidates.
Jul 29, 2023; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans wide receiver Kyle Philips (18) works through drills during training camp. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 29, 2023; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans wide receiver Kyle Philips (18) works through drills during training camp. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports / Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Tennessee Titans recently concluded their first phase of organized team activities (OTAs). New head coach Brian Callahan held one final OTA practice on May 31st before a short break. Mandatory minicamp occurs from June 4-6 before one final phase of voluntary OTAs from June 10-13. These practices represent the first opportunity for Callahan and his new coaching staff to evaluate his veteran players on the field.

The presence of a new staff means fresh opportunities for third-and-fourth-year players to reintroduce themselves via a new system. It could also mean that certain veteran contributors that endeared themselves to the previous regime are no longer as useful in a different scheme. The Titans have established mainstays that appear primed to enter training camp on the roster bubble.

We've identified three of them.

Kyle Philips

Kyle Philips became a fan-favorite from the moment previous general manager Jon Robinson utilized a fifth-round pick on him in the 2022 NFL Draft. The former UCLA standout was expected to command a role as the slot receiver. Recurring injuries and inconsistent play have prevented Philips from achieving his goals.

Credit to Titans general manager Ran Carthon and Callahan for refusing to rely on Philips after he proved to be inconsistently available throughout 2022 and 2023. His roster spot was put on notice the moment the Titans signed veteran wideout Tyler Boyd. Boyd is a slot receiver that possesses familiarity with Callahan's offense from their shared days with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Philips is a slot-only receiver that lacks positional versatility. He's also struggled as a special teams returner where he's proven to be a turnover hazard. The Titans could save $985,000 and $1.1 million towards the 2024 and 2025 cap by releasing Philips according to OverTheCap. Carthon would inherit dead cap charges less than $80,000. The savings aren't noteworthy, but more importantly, there's no financial-related penalty that would prevent the Titans from severing ties.

Rashad Weaver

Rashad Weaver is currently benefiting from a depth chart that lacks terrific depth at the EDGE position. Harold Landry III and Arden Key currently project as the starting edge defenders. In theory, Weaver is the most established option behind them. Other young players on the roster include second-year UDFAs Caleb Murphy and Thomas Rush, and rookie seventh-rounder Jaylen Harrell.

The Titans desperately require more depth behind Landry and Key. Weaver lacks the athleticism required to consistently create matchup problems against opposing offensive linemen. Weaver was largely ineffective throughout 2023, earning a run-defense grade of 48.9, and a pass-rushing grade of 51.3 from Pro Football Focus.

Weaver is entering the fourth and final campaign of his contract after being drafted in 2021. The Titans would save $1 million against the 2024 cap by releasing the former Pittsburgh Panthers defender. The dead cap charge would be a manageable $164,916, via OverTheCap.

Hassan Haskins

Hassan Haskins established himself as one of the Titans' most important special teams players as a rookie in 2022. It seemed like a foregone conclusion that he would contribute to the 2023 iteration of the team. Before that happened, Haskins was arrested and charged with aggravated assault following an alleged domestic violence exchange. The Titans made the somewhat surprising decision to stick by Haskins, placing him on IR in late August before he landed on the Commissioner's Exempt List.

Haskins is back with the Titans and attempting to get into their good graces. Haskins faces a sizable uphill battle to make the 53-man roster. Tony Pollard and Tyjae Spears are established as the new one-two punch in Tennessee's backfield.

Haskins will face competition for the third and seemingly final running back spot. Former UDFA darling Julius Chestnut is still on the roster. The Titans added two rookie running backs in Washington's Dillon Johnson and Tennessee's Jabari Small.