Jeff Fisher and Mike Reinfeldt Talk About Free Agency

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Coach Fisher and Mike Reinfeldt discuss free agency after the jump.

HEAD COACH JEFF FISHER

(on Albert Haynesworth's situation)

To answer your first question, we are aware of some of the things. We are still gathering some information. I really can't comment any further until I get more information as far as the incidents or the incidents are concerned.

(on if that effects pursuing him?)

It's part of a very, very small part of the puzzle but we still need to get some more information.

GENERAL MANAGER MIKE REINFELDT

(opening comments)

Since we had everyone together we thought it would be a good time to kind of talk about free agency, kind of talk about the offseason, talk about things going on. It would be a good opportunity to address a number of you at the same point in time. You know obviously the season's been over for a number of weeks. We're two weeks away from free agency. We have a number of free agents that we would like to retain. We're in discussions with those gentlemen's agents. You know, we're in negotiations with a number of them. I think what you're going to see over the next two weeks, I think you're going to see things accelerate. The pace picks up. I think so far in the league there has only been two potential free agents that have signed. So it's been very quiet. There's a lot of posturing that goes on at this point in time. But I think now, and with the combine coming up, and free agency starting in two weeks, you know hopefully we'll get a chance to make some good progress with our free agents. From a restricted free agency standpoint, we have no restricted free agents, so we don't have to go through that process at all. I think the negotiations, at this time of the year, I think it's a tough thing for the fan to watch because you're wanting things to happen but I think it's part of the normal process that happens at this time of the year. I think what you have, you have a situation where there aren't really leverage points. You know, I think you have a situation where players or their agents can sometimes have unrealistic demands. There's no leverage points. And even one of the things that happens sometimes in the negotiations is they want us to promise a role, or negotiate what role they're going to have with the team, and obviously only Jeff (Fisher) and the coaches can decide, you know, if it's a fourth corner wanting to be a third corner, well guess what, we can't decide that in the financial package. That's something that has to happen on the field. I think there's some complicated things that all have to be worked through, but I think that as you get closer to free agency, some of those leverage points pick up and I think you start seeing things happen. So that's kind of where we are at this point in time. Jeff would you like to add anything to it?

HEAD COACH JEFF FISHER

(more on free agency process)

As Mike said, it's going to pick up. Things are clearly going to pick up. There's just no, neither side has leverage right now, so the closer you get to the date, the more heated the discussions get. And as we said at the end of the season, we have interest in getting everybody back, and our ability to do that that will depend on the next couple of weeks and what the market bares.

GENERAL MANAGER MIKE REINFELDT

(on if the Titans already have a number in mind as far as Albert is concerned?)

Well I think with all of your free agents, and again I wouldn't answer any questions specifically as it relates to one player. But I do think you need to do that with all of your people, kind of figure out what kind of deal makes sense, how far you're willing to go, what's the right amount. You know, approach it from that standpoint, whether it's Albert or any of the other 13 players.

(on Haynesworth's camp having expressed the desire for him (Albert) to be the top paid defensive player in the NFL. If they stick to their guns, could you do that?)

Well, I don't think it behooves us that this point in time to give away what our strategy would be, or what we think the market would be for an individual player. I really wouldn't go into that. I think we're in a pretty good situation, cap room-wise, cash-wise, that we have, we should have the resources to retain the players that we need to.

(on if the Titans feel like that if Albert sees the free agent market that their chances of re-signing him are gone, or greatly diminished?)

Well, you never know how the free agent market works. Sometimes that can happen and sometimes that's not the case. I think all of our players...what tends to happen in free agency is everyone envisions that it's going to be the perfect Shangri-La. And that's not always the case, quite honestly. And di think the important thing is if you stay with those guys, and are determined, then I think you've got a chance.

(on the league has a history of over-paying for top free agents. Is that a concern with Albert, that someone comes with just a crazy offer at midnight on the 27 th?)

Well, I think that's always a concern. I think when you say "the league," I think what happens is you have thirty-two teams and it only takes one to pay much more than the other thirty-one would be willing to pay. So that's a concern, getting to free agency. And I think that if you're a player or agent, that's kind of what you're hoping for.

(on how active do the Titans expect to be in terms of other teams' free agents that hit the market?)

I think we'll look at those players. We've already graded them out. We have a good feeling of what they are. We've put values on them. We have a feeling for which ones could help our team, and some of that will be determined by what happens with our own free agents.

HEAD COACH JEFF FISHER

(on if the Titans lose Kerry Collins, and don't sign anyone, is this perhaps a very interesting quarterback situation?)

You know, we said at the end of the season that we had hope and expectation that we would be able to re-sign Kerry. I also said that Vince is eventually going to be our starter. So, we don't know what the market's going to be. I believe that Kerry has every intention of coming back. And if he comes back, for all intents and purposes, he's our starter, and Vince waits. If he doesn't, then we'll deal with that, but our interest right now is to try and get Kerry back.

GENERAL MANAGER MIKE REINFELDT

(on how the Titans are as far as their value for him (Collins), and his value of himself. Where are you, as far as talks go with his agent?)

We've had a number of discussions with him. Nothing is imminent at this point in time.

(on what is that leverage situation with him? It sounds like this is the place that he wants to be)

Well I think that's true with a lot of our players. I think that, you know, we've got a good thing going here: the record, the camaraderie, the coaches. I think all of our players really want to be back. It's just a matter of finding the right deal for them. I don't think they think the grass is greener on the other side. I think they realize that we've got a chance to do some exciting things on the field here, and it's also a very good quality of life. It's a good place to be.

(on if the Titans expect to have to use the franchise tag this year, either on Bironas or Scaife?)

I think that's always a possibility. I think we'll go up to the very end to determine whether or not we do that.

(on if he'll use the franchise tag this year, maybe even on Rob Bironas)

I think that's always a possibility. I think we'll go up to the very end to determine whether or not we'll do that.

(on if he gets the sense that all eyes are on the Albert Haynesworth negotiations)

Well, I think the eyes are on a lot of people. I think Baltimore has a lot of good players up. There are a lot of teams in that same situation. You tend to focus on your issues and think that they're the most important, but I think there are a lot of teams with issues they'll have to sort out this off-season.

(on if the potential of an uncapped year throws a wrench into the negotiations this off-season)

It changes the landscape a little bit just because the cap is different this year and things will accelerate. There's the potential for an uncapped year. There's a potential that free agency won't be after four years, it will be after six years, so there's a lot of things that could change. It makes it a tough environment to do deals because there is so much unknown.

(on the next week's scouting combine)

That's one of the things going on. Our college scouts are in and we'll be going through a pre-combine meeting next week. We'll all be at the combine - the coaches and the scouts. The tough thing is, the better you do, the later you draft. This year we will draft 30 th and we would like to draft a player that has the same impact as Chris Johnson had for us this year.

(on if that is easier said than done)

Yes, it's much easier to say it than do it, but I think we have high expectations, and I think the good things we have going right now is we have really good communication between the scouts and the coaches. The scouts have a really good understanding of what the coaches want and the two groups work together. That's a key component in all of this.

HEAD COACH JEFF FISHER

(on if the team has had any communication with Craig Hentrich and when they'll need to know an answer regarding his future playing status)

We have not, but we're hoping that we can get things resolved in the near to immediate future. It makes sense, it's common sense if you have a player, a starter that's pondering retirement, you need a decision as quickly as possible so you can move on. We're not pressuring Craig, however. We have too much respect for Craig to put pressure on him.

(on if he has a hunch one way or another)

Not at this point, no.

(on if he is welcomed back if he decides to continue his playing career)

Yes, of course.

(on Titans selected for the Hall of Fame Game)

We're really excited about having the opportunity. For whatever reason, I got of got the sense that we were passed over a couple of times, one I think because of the move, but now that we've been invited, we're very, very excited. I think the game against the Bills will be a very exciting ballgame. The reasons for the game, I think, the tradition, the AFL and Mr. Adams and Mr. Wilson are a great reason to have these two teams come together. At this point, I know we have a lot of players that have never seen it and it will be an opportunity for them to go through the Hall and pay their respects to the great tradition of this league. It's an opportunity to play an extra preseason game. We'll play our players. We're not necessarily going to come into camp two weeks before the Hall of Fame Game. We'll have our team ready to go up there and be competitive and put together a good product.

(on how much sooner he'll start training camp this year)

With the way things are now with the offseason program, the way it's been and what I expect out of our players this year in the offseason program and their commitment, I guess we could probably get ready to play a game in seven, eight or nine days.

(on how much the team benefits from being able to start camp a little earlier)

I don't know how much you benefit, but I know there's not a disadvantage. It's not going to be a detriment because the players are going to be in such good shape. You come in and get ready to go play a ballgame. To me, it's another opportunity to develop and evaluate younger players, particularly rookies.

 

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