"Around the League" is taking a look at each team's salary-cap situation heading into training camp. Next up: The Tennessee Titans.
Crunching the Numbers
Around the League is taking a look at each team's salary cap situation as we approach the start of training camp:
• Bills | Dolphins | Jets | Patriots
• Bengals | Browns | Ravens | Steelers
• Colts | Jaguars | Texans | Titans
• Broncos | Chargers | Chiefs | Raiders
• Cowboys | Eagles | Giants | Redskins
• Bears | Lions | Packers | Vikings
• Buccaneers | Falcons | Panthers | Saints
• 49ers | Cardinals | Rams | Colin McCarthy, a fourth-round draft pick in 2011, took over for veteran Barrett Ruud midway through last season and the Titans' defense is better off for it. In the final eight games of the season, McCarthy racked up 63 tackles and an interception, defended three passes and had two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. McCarthy was also a more dependable tackler than Ruud and could take a big leap after having an actual NFL offseason to become more familiar with the defense. McCarthy will earn the league minimum ($465,000) with a cap number of $578,850 this season.
Potential camp casualty: Veteran outside linebacker Will Witherspoon will turn 32 during training camp and is due $3.5 million in base salary in the final year of his current contract. Witherspoon was a two-down player in 2011, playing in just under 60 percent of the defensive snaps. Witherspoon was still effective -- his 1.4 rushing yards ranked second among NFL linebackers, according to Football Outsiders Almanac 2012 -- but with the team using yet another second-round pick on an outside linebacker (Zach Brown), Witherspoon's days in Nashville are likely nearing an end.
Contract issue looming in 2013: Tight end Jared Cook is coming off a breakout season and will be looking for a multi-year extension next offseason. Last offseason, the Titans signed starting/blocking tight end Craig Stevens to a four-year, $14.4 extension. Cook will be looking for a much bigger deal than that and could be hit with a franchise tag, which is projected to be worth $5.555 million if the salary cap remains flat in 2013.
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