Tennessee Titans: David Stewart and the 2014 Salary Cap

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

Continuing this year's series on the Titans salary cap and important players in relation to it.

David Stewart has been a stellar right tackle for the Titans for almost a decade now. His attitude and mauling style of play has been almost taken for granted year after year as he's anchored the right side of the Titans' offensive line. This year, however, he didn't quite live up to expectations.

Stewart broke his leg near the end of the 2012 season and the lingering effects were still seen in 2013. I believe the coaching staff and Stewart himself figured he would continue to heal as time went on, but it was something that continued to hamper the large tackle.

David Stewart's cap situation is simple. He's due $6.4M on the last year of his most recent contract and non of the money is guaranteed. That means there is no cap hit or dead money left on the books inciting the Titans to keep him. If he's cut, the Titans have the full $6.4M to spend elsewhere.

Free Agent Options

Here's a list of the current unrestricted free agent options at the tackle position as per Rotoworld.

1. Eugene Monroe
2. Jared Veldheer
3. Branden Albert
4. Jordan Gross
5. Anthony Collins
6. Rodger Saffold
7. Michael Oher
8. Breno Giacomini
9. Charles Brown
10. Zach Strief
11. Austin Howard
12. Bryant McKinnie
13. Ryan Harris
14. Eric Winston
15. Jason Fox
16. Will Svitek
17. J'Marcus Webb
18. Tyson Clabo
19. Mike Otto
20. Sean Locklear
21. Tony Pashos
22. Marshall Newhouse
23. Jeremy Trueblood
24. Khalif Barnes
25. Dennis Roland
26. Winston Justice
27. Jonathan Scott
28. Andrew Gardner
29. Rashad Butler
30. David Diehl

I'm not going to pretend to know how much any of these players will command in salary vs. their worth on the field. If the Titans feel comfortable enough with Byron Stingily stepping up at the position, perhaps the route is to sign some veteran depth and competition off this list with change left over from Stewart's salary.

The Draft

Most mock drafts (yes it's very early) already have the Titans taking a tackle with their 1st round pick. It makes sense from afar as the Titans's rebuilding of the offensive line isn't complete yet. Texas A&M's Jake Matthews and Auburn's Greg Robinson are currently considered the two best prospects coming out, but whether they make it to 11 is yet to be seen. Letting a qualified rookie take over at right tackle, that could eventually switch over to take Roos' spot down the road wouldn't be the worst idea.

Overall

Due to Stewart's decline in play last year combined with his high price tag, I would be shocked if the Titans kept him. If the staff really believes he could return to form another year removed from injury, then a new contract for the next 2-3 years would be fine, albeit at a much reduced rate, something I'm not sure he would go for. It will be interesting to keep an eye on the offensive tackle market this march.

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