Around the NFL  

 

Offseason Forecast: Tennessee Titans

Print

With the offseason officially under way, Around The NFL will examine what's next for all 32 teams. The series rolls on with a look at the Tennessee Titans.

What's changing?


With the offseason underway, Around The NFL explores what's next for all 32 teams.

AFC East:
AFC North:
AFC South:
AFC West:
NFC East:
NFC North:
NFC South:
NFC West:

The quarterback position perhaps? The Titans, in a way, hold the key to the draft's top 10. Assuming Tampa Bay takes a quarterback at No. 1, Tennessee needs to decide between the second-best passer in the draft and Zach Mettenberger, a second-year player who some viewed as one of the better quarterbacks in last year's draft. The Titans liked the progress they saw, but are they in a position to let another season slip by without excitement under center? Perhaps if the organization did not swing and miss on Jake Locker, Tennessee could afford to be more conservative here.

Biggest free agents


» OLB Derrick Morgan: Undoubtedly the crown jewel of Tennessee's free-agent class, Morgan was a first-round pick back in 2010 and has established himself as one of the stronger pass rushers set to hit the open market this offseason. The trouble for Tennessee is that they'll be bidding against 3-4 and 4-3 teams alike.

» QB Jake Locker: Once thought to be worthy of the No. 8 overall pick in the draft, Locker is now ready to hit the open market. While there's no doubt he has the skills to be a serviceable No. 2 quarterback, there's no way the Titans can go back to the injury-riddled signal-caller and start him over Mettenberger. Locker has always shown flashes, but not enough to outweigh some questionable accuracy and myriad injury issues.

» OT Michael Roos: The 32-year-old was arguably the Titans' best offensive lineman last year before an extremely uncharacteristic injury. Of course, Tennessee has his replacement drafted and ready to go in Taylor Lewan, so what will the Titans do with a player that has been a fixture on that line every year since 2005? (Editor's note: Roos announced his retirement Feb. 26).

Other key free agents: FB Jackie Battle, K Ryan Succop, WR Nate Washington, DT Karl Klug.

On the way out?


» Jake Locker: There's no question Locker is a goner. He wouldn't want to stay in Nashville as a No. 2 and, believe it or not, he'll hit the market as one of the best options any team searching for a starter could have. Locker's time effectively ended the moment Mettenberger was placed in a game.

» Nate Washington: It was striking to see a player actually make it through the life of a six-year deal, but that's exactly what Washington managed to do during his time with the Titans. But at 31, and 30 receptions under his total from 2013, might it be time to go in a different direction?

» Derrick Morgan: Morgan is a more natural fit with his hand in the dirt, which is why another team might pay him top dollar to do so. With the Titans bringing Dick LeBeau into the fold, he'll likely have the opportunity to parse his free agents as he sees fit. Morgan is a stud, but might not be a stud in LeBeau's defense.

What they need


A little bit of everything? In all seriousness, the Titans have done the right thing by building up their offensive line, but a team doesn't finish 2-14 with plenty of building blocks (normally). It all starts under center, but Tennessee has gone years without supplementing their quarterback with a top-grade playmaker. Let's see if Ken Whisenhunt can put his stamp on this team by finding a reliable pass catcher in the second or third round.

Offseason crystal ball


The Titans pass on a quarterback at No. 2, and potentially look into trading the pick. At the moment, there's far too many needs on their board and few of them can be solved by Marcus Mariota out of the gate. Don't be surprised if they take a stab at a QB in a later round, though.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast welcomes Malcolm Butler to the show and plays a free agency edition of "Who Do You Trust?" Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

Print

Fan Discussion