Offseason Forecast: Tennessee Titans


With the offseason officially under way, Around the League will examine what's next for all 32 teams. The series continues with the Tennessee Titans.

What's changing

Relatively little. Head coach Mike Munchak was retained coming off a 6-10 season where his team was outscored by 141 points, in large part because 90-year-old owner Bud Adams doesn't want to endure another rebuilding campaign. Promising young assistant Dowell Loggains has been promoted to offensive coordinator after taking over on an interim basis in December. Quarterback Jake Locker should be 100 percent by training camp after undergoing surgery on his non-throwing arm to repair an injury that affected him throughout the 2012 season.

With the offseason officially under way, Around the League will examine what's next for all 32 teams.

AFC East
» Bills | Dolphins | Jets | Patriots
AFC North
» Bengals | Browns | Ravens | Steelers
AFC South
» Colts | Jaguars | Texans | Titans
AFC West
» Broncos | Chargers | Chiefs | Raiders
NFC East
» Cowboys | Eagles | Giants | Redskins
NFC North
» Bears | Lions | Packers | Vikings
NFC South
» Buccaneers | Falcons | Panthers | Saints
NFC West
» Cardinals | Niners | Rams | Seahawks

Biggest free agents

»TE Jared Cook: A bit of a tease, Cook has freakish athleticism on par with the league's premier tight ends. He wants to be paid wide receiver-type money, but the Titans reportedly will make him their franchise player as a tight end, which he will challenge. He's been underutilized due to his subpar blocking skills.

»C Fernando Velasco: A converted guard and first-time starter, Velasco keyed running back Chris Johnson's mid-season resurgence while emerging as one of the league's finer run-blocking pivots. The Titans should make re-signing Velasco a priority.

»DT Sen'Derrick Marks: After a disappointing first three seasons, Marks finally emerged as a decent starter with a career-high 63 tackles last year. He provides a pass-rushing presence on the interior while making only modest improvements against the run. There's a good chance another team will overpay for him.

»K Rob Bironas: Coming off his worst season since 2006, Bironas struggled (50 percent) on kicks longer than 40 yards. It's not a good sign that his contract wasn't extended last year, but he could still be brought back for a ninth season in Nashville.

»Other key free agents: KR Darius Reynaud, DE Dave Ball, LB Will Witherspoon, RG Leroy Harris, RB Javon Ringer

Check out the best photos from the Titans' 2012 season.

What they need

The biggest needs concern players already on the roster. Locker must develop into a reliable, consistent passer. His ability to run the trendy pistol/read-option offense is intriguing. Johnson must run with decisiveness, though an upgrade at right guard would help immensely. Kenny Britt must stay out of the hoosegow and return to pre-injury form as a legit go-to receiver. While improved health from middle linebacker Colin McCarthy and improved play from free safety Michael Griffin would go a long way toward fixing the defense, an infusion of talent is clearly needed on the defensive line and in the secondary.

Offseason crystal ball

The Titans fully intend to pay Johnson's $10 million salary. The artist formerly known as CJ2K is on notice, however, that it could be his last season in Nashville. The same can be said for Munchak and Britt. Don't be surprised if Cook is retained via the relatively affordable $6 million franchise tag. The right guard vacuum could be solved via free agency (Andy Levitre or Brandon Moore?) or the draft (Alabama's Chance Warmack?). General manager Ruston Webster is also under pressure to find two or three impact players to shore up the league's highest-scoring defense.

Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.