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Babin concerned about Titans' changes, his contract status

Jason Babin will be an unrestricted free agent once the NFL lockout ends. And, from the sound of it, he might not return to the Tennessee Titans after his breakout 2010 season.

"There's so much uncertainty with Tennessee, what their culture's going to be, who their quarterback's going to be, what kind of atmosphere is going to evolve out of a whole new coaching staff," the defensive end recently told

"When you put that many new people together -- new offense, defense, new guy at the helm, at quarterback -- it's kind of hard to predict what the culture's going to be, what the atmosphere's going to be," he added. "And even more so, the hierarchy of how things are going to rank importance-wise. So it's kind of hard for me to say yes or no until, (No.) 1, they talk to me and express interest. And No. 2, I can see how things unfold as far as the team as a whole goes."

The Titans have gone through a tumultuous offseason. First, they announced that quarterback Vince Young would be traded or released after his relationship with the team turned rocky. Then they parted with coach Jeff Fisher and promoted offensive line coach Mike Munchak to run the team.

Munchak built his own staff, and defensive line coach Jim Washburn, whom Babin called "the greatest position coach I've ever had," departed for the Philadelphia Eagles. That led to speculation that Babin could rejoin the Eagles, who didn't match the Titans' offer sheet to the lineman last year, and he didn't exactly shoot down the possibility when asked about it in January.

"There's been no 'Hey Jason, we want you in Philly' discussions, but it would be hard for me not to contemplate it if he said, 'Jason, I want you in Philly,' " Babin said. "He resurrected me. I'd have to at least give that serious consideration. But Tennessee is where I made a home, my kids go to school there, we live there. So I feel like I'm in a tough position."

Before Babin joined the Titans, he was considered a journeyman, spending time with the Eagles, Seattle Seahawks and Kansas City Chiefs after being a first-round draft pick by the Houston Texans in 2004. But Babin blossomed under Washburn's tutelage, recording 12.5 sacks -- 7.5 more than his previous career high -- and receiving his first Pro Bowl berth.

That kind of performance usually produces a big payday, but the lockout has prevented Babin from negotiating with teams or signing a contract. The Titansdecided in February to put contract talks with Babin on hold, and his agent, Rich Rosa, said then that the team hadn't "closed the door" on bringing back the defensive end.

"I've been a little anxious," Babin told "I would have liked to have had my contract situation squared away March 3. But there's a picture that involves the NFL as a whole, so I really can't be selfish when it comes to that. We've got to get some things squared away when it comes to the (collective bargaining agreement).

"I'm not overly concerned about having a job. I more so concerned about having my family there with me and the situation I'm going to be in -- meaning find the right schools, the right neighborhoods, find a house to live in, for a four- or five-year contract. So those are the kind of things that peeve me that they're probably not going to happen."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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