The Tennessee Titans signed defensive tackle Tyler Shelvin to a Reserve/Futures contract last week. Shelvin became the 14th player to sign such a deal with the Titans. Can Shelvin make an impact on the 2023 Titans?
Reserve/Futures contract are oftentimes hardly notable, but Shelvin carries some upside. The No. 122 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, Shelvin was drafted in the fourth round by the Cincinnati Bengals, where he spent the better portion of two campaigns. Shelvin won a National Championship at LSU with Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase, but was waived from the Bengals in late December. The Titans pounced on his availability just two weeks after his release.
Shelvin has thus far failed to meet his pre-and-post-draft expectations as a fourth-round selection. Shelvin appeared in just five contests for the Bengals. He totaled four tackles. Shelvin is a massive 6-foot-3, 350-pound nose tackle. He’s a two-down stopper with limited potential as a third-down defender. The Titans have employed those types.
Shelvin’s chances of making the 2023 Titans roster largely depends on how free agency and the 2023 draft shake out. The Titans have several defensive linemen who are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents. That list includes DeMarcus Walker, Mario Edwards, Da’Shawn Hand to name a few. Some of these players may be looking for pay-days.
The most interesting outcome surrounds Teair Tart, the player who’s typically started in Shelvin’s position. Tart experienced a fantastic sophomore campaign and is set to become a restricted free agent. Tart recently hired shrewd negotiator Drew Rosenhaus as his new agent. Hiring Rosenhaus indicates Tart is looking for a hefty raise in pay. Understandably so after his 2022 season. Fellow nose tackle Naquan Jones is also an ERFA (exclusive rights free agent).
Shelvin should at least receive an opportunity to compete for a roster spot throughout training camp and the preseason. The Titans have done well with these types lately, a la Hand, Kevin Strong and Tart. Shelvin may receive a larger opportunity than Titans fans envision.