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Is It the Off Season Already??

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There is an article in the Tennessean today analyzing guys who will be free agents at the end of the season.  Does anyone remember the days when Titans fans used to talk about the playoffs this time of year?  How far the mighty have fallen.

The Titans are going to have $41 million in cap space and they aren't going to the playoffs so I guess we might as well talk about free agents.  The Tennessean listed 8 positions the Titans might look at in the free agent market.  We will look at their list and some thoughts on each position.  ( I am going to list them in what I think the order of importance to the Titans is)  Some positions might be addressed by players already on the team.

1.  Corner

The Titans obviously have a huge need here and I think it should be the #1 priority of the off season.  (unless Finnegan steps up in the final 7 games)  They could address this in the draft but I think it would be a step backwards again to try and break in a rookie corner.

The 2 biggest names available are Nate Clements from Buffalo and Asante Samuel from New England.

I think this is a position where the Titans should break the bank.  If they could add a solid corner opposite Adam Jones it would be a huge upgrade to the defense.

 2.  Wide Receiver

This is a position I would not address in free agency.  Drew Bennett will be a free agent and I think they should bring him back if the price is right.  We are as cursed in signing free agents as the Cubs are at playing baseball.  There will be some good receivers in this draft class.  Address the problem there.

3.  Safety

Chris Hope has been an excellent addition and has given some attitude back to the secondary that hasn't been seen since Blaine Bishop was here.  Lamont Thompson is just not very good.  (I know he had 2 INTs on Sunday but that was an aberration.  Maybe they should use him at receiver next year after that first pick he had.)

Deon Grant will be available.  Many thought he would be a Titan when he came out in 2000 but Bulluck fell in the Titans laps.  (I think the Titans got the better of that one)  He would be an upgrade from Thompson.  The Titans also have rookie Calvin Lowry who has made some big plays on special teams.  I would love to see the Titans give him a chance down the stretch and see what he can do.

4.  Defensive End

Kyle Vanden Bosch is a great player but the Titans need someone on the other side.  Antwan Odom and Travis LaBoy are nice players but they don't demand attention.  Dwight Freeney is mentioned in the Tennessean article but I don't see any scenario where the Colts let him walk.  Freeney is a great presence and opens things up for the other players but he offers little support against the run and at the price tag he will command I want someone who would help against the run.

Patrick Kerney, who is injured,  would be a huge upgrade.  The article also mentions Leonard Little but that is the last thing the Titans need.  I have a feeling he wouldn't help much with the character issue.

End is another place the Titans should spend the money because a good pass rush makes the secondary look better and is essential in stopping the run.

5.  Defensive Tackle

My thoughts here would be to negotiate with Haynesworth to make his cap number smaller next year and put a few more years on the deal.  I know he has had problems but I think he has turned the corner.  My second step would be to re-sign Robaire Smith.  Make those 2 your startes and continue to develop guys like Mahelona and Starks.  You could also take a DT in the draft.

6.  Guard

This is not a huge need for the Titans but with Olson getting older and being expensive, it is something the Titans will need to address.

7.  Tight end

This one could move up depending on the health of Erron Kinney.  He could be the safety valve VY needs.  Troupe hasn't gotten it yet and cannot be counted on.  VY seems to have some good chemistry with Scaife.

Tony Gonzalez will be available.  If you can get him at a reasonable price that doesn't put you in cap jail later, GO GET HIM!!  He is not as good as he was a few years ago but could still be a huge addittion to the team.

8.  Linebacker

I'll be honest.  I am not sure why this is even on the list.  Bulluck and Thornton are both awesome.  Rookie Stephen Tulloch seems to always be around the ball and will only get better with time.  This would not be a place I would spend much money at all.