Tennessee Titans offensive tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere has been suspended six games for violating the league’s gambling policy. General manager Ran Carthon is now tasked with finding a solution to replace his starting right tackle. I’ve backed the idea of signing veteran free-agent tackle George Fant.
If the Titans avoid the free agency route, there are a few in-house options to consider. None of them particularly inspire confidence, but we must be prepared for the Titans to consider one of these avenues. I’ve swiftly identified three in-house replacements:
The Titans signed JaMarco Jones in unrestricted free agency last offseason. Jones was expected to compete for the starting left guard job alongside Aaron Brewer, but a summer injury prevented that from happening. Jones ended up spending his entire debut campaign in Tennessee on IR.
The Titans didn’t release Jones this summer, and I expect him to be on their 53-man roster. Jones is a versatile offensive linemen with experience at both tackle and guard positions. He’s started two career games at right tackle, so there’s a little familiarity with the position. Jones played 33 snaps for the Seattle Seahawks at right tackle in 2022, and 52 snaps throughout the 2021 campaign.
This is probably the least inspiring in-house option. Jaelyn Duncan is a sixth-round rookie out of Maryland. Thrusting him into the spotlight probably isn’t the solution in response to Petit-Frere’s suspension.
It’s worth acknowledging that Duncan was exclusively a left tackle at Maryland. The Titans will probably task him with learning the right tackle position throughout training camp and the preseason, but expecting him to be a Week 1 starter at a new spot isn’t realistic. Duncan should continue developing behind the scenes.
The Titans signed Daniel Brunskill to a modest two-year contract worth $5 million earlier this offseason. Carthon spent time alongside Brunskill with the San Francisco 49ers. Carthon identified Brunskill as an ideal fit for the culture he’s building in Tennessee.
Brunskill was immediately penciled into the right guard position as Nate Davis’ replacement. But one thing the Titans appreciate about Brunskill is his versatility to play all five positions. Brunskill actually has four career starts at right tackle, which is more experience than any other player on the roster (sans Petit-Frere).
Brunskill is ultimately a better fit as an interior blocker. Kicking him outside would likely place Corey Levin into the starting lineup. This could make sense because Levin is Tennessee’s best reserve linemen.
I think the likeliest solution is a free-agent addition such as Fant. Dillon Radunz would have been a straightforward answer, but is unfortunately expected to begin 2023 on the PUP after suffering a late-season torn ACL. Andrew Rupcich and John Ojukwu are also on the roster, but are unlikely sources.