One of the things that we always point to around here is the fact that we have a young and developing team. But do we have many long-term players on offense. For the purpose of this investigation, I'd like to base this off of he 2017 season. I'll asses the talent, age, durability, etc. of our players to determine if they are a possible plan for our team in five years.
Jake Locker, Matt Hasselbeck, Rusty Smith
Ages in 2017:
Locker (29), Hass (42), Smith (30)
Locker has had a few injuries this season, and will likely sustain more if he does not get the ball out quicker and stay in the pocket. Rusty doesn't have a major history with injuries.
Matt will obviously not be with this team in five years. So, this leaves us with Jake and Rusty. Jake's future depends on how he develops with us. He has the talent and work ethic, but he still have issues with decision making and accuracy.
Rusty could be a very serviceable backup for this team; however, if he continues to improve, he could possibly leave this team in hopes of competing for a starting job elsewhere.
Chris Johnson, Jamie Harper, Javon Ringer, Darius Reynaud, Quinn Johnson
CJ2K (32), Harper (28), Ringer (30), Rey-Rey (31), QJ (31)
CJ is very durable. He sustains some injuries, but has not major problems; however, he is a smaller back, which means he could begin to wear down soon.
QJ, Harper, and Reynaud don't have major problems with injuries.
Javon Ringer will be returning next season after an MCL injury.
CJ will be 32. His current contract runs up after the 2016 season, and he will have begun wearing down. I really don't expect CJ to be on this team in 2017. If he were, he'd have to be a backup, which I don't expect him to accept.
Harper doesn't have the skill to be a starting running back, so I do not expect this team to keep him around for another two seasons.
Javon Ringer's rookie contract ends after this season. After sustaining an injury, I don't expect Ringer be retained; furthermore, he has shown that he may be able to compete for a starting job with teams like the Patriots who do not rely on an elite back.
Reynaud probably won't be around because his kick returning wasn't that impressive this season.
QJ has been an average fullback this season, but I doubt he will be on this roster in five years.
We will probably be looking at an entirely new running back group in 2017.
Kenny Britt, Nate Washington, Kendall Wright, Lavelle Hawkins, Michael Preston, Damian Williams, Marc Mariani
KB (29), Hands (34), Wright (27 going on 28), Hawk (31), Preston (28), D-Will (29), Marc (30)
Kenny Britt is not durable by any means of the word. He is always experiencing different leg injuries.
Nate Washington has always experienced injuries while with us, but he tends to tough it out.
Kendall is currently out with a rib injury; however, he has not had a major injury history.
The Hawk has been dealing with an ankle injury, while D-Will has a foot injury, but neither normally have too many issues.
Preston does not have a major injury history.
Marc Mariani is out with a massive broken leg injury sustained in the preseason.
Kenny Britt will be pretty young, but his rookie contract runs up after the 2013 season. If he doesn't solve his off-field and injury issues, I don't expect him back in 2017.
Nate and the Hawk will be gone. No question about it.
Wright should develop well and be a starting receiver in 2017 for the Titans.
Preston and D-Will will (he-he) be 28 and 29, respectively, but their biggest question is development. Both have to possibility of being here in 2017.
Marc will be 30, the returning game is becoming less important. I doubt he will be worth that much for us at the age of 30 on offense.
Jared Cook, Craig Stevens, Taylor Thompson, Beau Brinkley
Cook (30), Stevens (33), Thompson (27 going on 28), Brinkley (27)
None have had major injury problems, besides Cook's current shoulder injury.
Cook's inconsistency and attitude makes me doubt he will be around. Stevens will be too old, so he should be gone.
Thompson's future will be determined by how he develops as a receiver.
Brinkley did not have too many problems in his first season as an NFL long snapper. I expect him to be around in five years.
Michael Roos, David Stewart, Mike Otto, Byron Stingily
Roos (34 going on 35), Stewart (35), Otto (34), Stingily (29)
Roos has battled injuries but has toughed them out and played throughout his career.
Stewart has sustained many injuries and is out with a broken leg.
Otto has sustained injuries throughout his career.
Stingily has not had a major issue with injuries.
I honestly don't expect these guys to be back in five years. 35 isn't too old for an offensive lineman, but the combination of injuries could lead to them leaving the Titans. Stingily on the other hand has just not given enough reasons for the Titans to retain him as a backup for another five years.
Steve Hutchinson, Leroy Harris, Deuce Lutui, Kyle DeVan, Mitch Petrus
Hutch (39 going on 40), Harris (33), Lutui (34), DeVan (32), Petrus (30)
Hutch and Harris both do not have the best luck with injuries.
The other three have not had a major issue that I know of.
The only one I think could be with this team in five years is Petrus. He may have another opportunity next year to be a depth guy and eventually to start. Hutch will be retired. Harris will probably not be around after a sub-par career with the Titans thus-far. Lutui has not done enough spectacular work in his short time with the Titans, but he has not been a liability. He may receive another opportunity next year to start, but I can't see him here in 2017.
DeVan hasn't done much in his time here either.
Fernando Velasco, Eugene Amano, Kevin Matthews
Velasco (32), Amano (35), Matthews (30)
Amano has been battling injuries and sat out the season with a torn triceps injury.
Velasco has not had a major injury history.
Matthews has battled injuries this season.
Velasco will be 32 but he has shown that he has a lot potential this year. I expect to see him as an anchor for this line for several years.
Amano will be 35 and has never been spectacular, so I don't expect him to be here in five years.
Matthews will only be 30, but his progression has not been evident enough. I don't expect him to stay here, especially if Bruce is no longer on this coaching staff.
I really don't think we have that many long-term players on this team. Out of these players, I expect the following to be on this team in 2017:
Jake Locker, Kendall Wright, Kenny Britt, and Fernando Velasco.
I fear that Thompson and Preston will not progress like that we all hope and evidently end up on other teams, especially if the the coaching staff is dumped. I really hope I am wrong about this, though.
Thoughts, comments? Discuss.