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Close the Door Behind You: Travis LaBoy and Jacob Bell Out

It appears that Travis LaBoy has agreed to a deal with the Arizona Cardinals, and Jacob Bell has agreed to a deal with the St. Louis Rams.  While it is tough to see all these guys leave, I don't think it is the end of the world.  There is a hole at left end, especially when you consider that the only ends currently on the roster behind Kyle Vanden Bosch are Bryce Fisher (who is probably done), Sean Conover (who isn't good), and Jacob Ford (who is a big question mark).  A move will have to be made at defensive end whether it be through the draft, through trade or through a player who is released later on.  I am now convinced that the first round pick will be used on a defensive lineman and not a receiver.

Things at guard are interesting as well.  We all pretty much expected Bell to be gone, but where to the Titans go from here?  I don't see them using an early pick on a guard.  They might sign a veteran at some point, but what will probably end up happening is Eugene Amano and LeRoy Harris will be your starting guards on opening day.  The line is very solid at the tackles and at center, so you can afford to plug a couple of inexperienced guys in there.  With Mike Munchak coaching them up, there won't be much of a drop off from last season.

A couple of things to make you feel better:

  1. The teams that have been really active in free agency so far are not teams that have a history of being really successful.  You don't see the Patriots or the Colts out there spending a ton of money.  They build through the draft.  That is the best recipe for long term success.  The Browns have made a lot of moves so far this offseason, and they will probably be really good next season, but they have traded away pretty much all of there 2008 draft and will find probably end up finding themselves in cap purgatory in a couple of years.
  2. Alge Crumpler makes the offense 100 times better.  If you take the time to look at Crumpler's numbers, you will see that he has a better yards per catch average for his career (13.3) than both Tony Gonzalez (12.1) and Antonio Gates (12.8).  Also, Crumpler makes Vince Young, the recievers and LenDale White better just by being on the field.
The one thing about this strategy is that it makes the draft a whole lot more important.  They better hope that they end up getting something from guys like Chris Henry, Paul Williams and Chris Davis.  Bad drafts will make this team irrelevant very quickly.