Welcome to Music City Miracles’ Tennessee Titans 2023 Roster Profile! Between now and August, MCM will feature more than two dozen talents. The main goal is to highlight underrated contributors and key rotational players. We’ll throw in the odd superstar or roster-bubble player, but we’re mainly focused on spotlighting the middle of the roster. That’s where key depth helps define a roster’s ceiling.
Today, we’re analyzing rookie running back Tyjae Spears.
Entered League: No. 81 overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft
Years with team: 1
“Tyjae Spears signed a 4 year, $5,490,616 contract with the Tennessee Titans, including a $993,176 signing bonus, $993,176 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $1,372,654. In 2023, Spears will earn a base salary of $750,000 and a signing bonus of $993,176, while carrying a cap hit of $998,294 and a dead cap value of $993,176.” Spotrac
The Titans pulled a mini-surprise when they selected Spears, a running back, with a third-round selection in the 2023 NFL Draft. Spears is joining a crowded running back room that contains Derrick Henry and Hassan Haskins. Despite that, Spears is expected to capture a role in Tennessee’s offense.
Spears can contribute while playing a change-of-pace role behind Henry. The Titans have long been searching for some lightning to Henry’s thunder. Spears fits the profile after enjoying an extremely productive season at Tulane in 2022. Spears ran for career highs in yards (1,581) and touchdowns (19). A dual-threat playmaker, Spears added 48 receptions for 564 receiving yards and three touchdowns to his offensive totals.
Spears was arguably the most dynamic prospect at this year’s Senior Bowl. Spears’ explosion and easy acceleration were on full display in Mobile throughout drills against opposing linebackers. The Titans will search to create similar mismatches for Spears at the next level.
Spears suffered two season-ending torn ACL injuries in the same knee at Tulane. Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network previously reported that Spears’ medical check at the NFL Scouting Combine revealed full-thickness cartilage loss, arthritis, and no ACL in that knee. As a result of the knee issues, Rapoport indicated that some teams viewed Spears as a “one contract guy” in the NFL. The Titans didn’t share those concerns.
The Titans are desperately searching for offensive playmakers to emerge. They arguably have the worst group of receivers in the NFL while waiting for Treylon Burks and Kyle Philips to establish themselves. Spears’ has dynamic abilities in an offense that needs to create more explosive plays.
Don’t be shocked if Spears plays a bigger role than you’re currently envisioning.