Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
That should ensure Velasco is safely a Titan next year, and probably for several years to come.
Jim Wyatt is reporting that the Titans have extended a second round restricted free agency tender to starting center Fernando Velasco. This comes as no surprise, and is a pretty good deal for any center in the NFL who isn't a perennial All Pro. The tender means Velasco will be locked in for just over $2 million next year, and any team who wants sign him will have to chip in a second round pick as compensation should the Titans choose not to match.
I expect Webster and co. to continue efforts to re-sign Velasco to a long-term contract after he stepped up and played very well as the starting center after Amano went down in training camp. Amano, just two seasons removed from landing his own king's ransom, could be on the chopping block if he's not willing to negotiate his cap number down and be satisfied as a reserve G/C.
With the interior of the offensive line being a huge target for rebuilding this season, keeping Velasco on board maintains some consistency within the unit and keeps a rising talent safe and sound in Nashville.
UPDATE: Wyatt just added one more interesting update to the O-line unit that has to be just a little bit awkward:
The #Titans are not going to retain C/G Kevin Matthews, one of the team's exclusive rights free agents, and son of coach Bruce Matthews. .— Jim Wyatt (@jwyattsports) March 11, 2013
The #Titans will not retain C/G Kyle DeVan, another exclusive rights free agent, either. He went back and forth on roster last season— Jim Wyatt (@jwyattsports) March 11, 2013