The Titans are out of salary cap jail with $36 million to spare and will have
eleven ten selections in the upcoming draft. But things are not all that rosy. As is often the case after facts are put into perspective, it's a good news/bad news scenario.
Good news: According to Pat Yasinskas of the Charlotte Observer, the Titans currently enjoy the fourth-best status in the league with $36 million in available cap room for 2007. That sounds good.
Bad news: Thanks to the new collective bargaining agreement, nineteen teams will have at least $20M to spend and 25 will have 10M available. That puts the good news in perspective.
With so many teams having so much money, the dollars will become inflated. That's good news for the players who will be free agents this year, and not-so-good news for the fans who will complain the teams are overpaying for players (which they will).
In other words, you won't be able to get a ten million-dollar player for $10 million anymore. The cost of doing business has gone up. Ten million dollars just isn't worth what it used to be.
Now for a look at the
eleven ten draft picks.
For the last several years, GM Floyd Reese was happy to tell people about being able to trade down in the draft to acquire extra picks. The fact is, he needed quantity over quality because of the cap problems. It was helpful to have an extra rookie or second-year player who could replace a more expensive veteran.
Now it's the other way around. The Titans need quality more than quantity and should be looking to trade up in the draft.
I'd like to see the new general manager, whoever it may be, package several draft picks to trade up in the first round. Or maybe move back into the first round for a second time, or at least move up in the second round.
It would be just fine to trade up once or twice and end up with only five or six picks total. The Titans don't need to draft
eleven ten players and have to cut five of them.
For those of you interested in how much cap room all the other teams now have, the list is below. The divisional rival Jaguars are just behind the Titans with $32M, while the Texans have 13.3M available. The Colts rank 29th with only 4.9M but are expected to make a few moves to free up enough room to slap the franchise tag on Dwight Freeney.
When you have a high-priced player like Peyton Manning, it's easy to manufacture extra salary cap room. For a while. All the Colts have to do is restructure Manning's contract again, moving some of this year's cap hit into future years. The Titans did it for years with Steve McNair.
I wouldn't mind seeing the Colts do it for a few years. Titans fans know how that story ends.
Below is the complete list from the article.
Rank Team Cap room 1 San Francisco $42.1M 2 Buffalo 39.7 3 Arizona 36.7 4 Tennessee 36 5 Cleveland 33.3 6 Minnesota 32.4 7 Jacksonville 32 7 St Louis 32 9 New England 30.4 10 Cincinnati 30.2 11 New Orleans 29.9 12 Green Bay 29.5 13 NY Jets 26.1 14 San Diego 24.6 15 Tampa Bay 24.2 16 Detroit 23.8 17 Chicago 23.4 18 Seattle 22.5 19 Dallas 21.5 20 Miami 17.8 21 NY Giants 15.7 22 Oakland 14.1 23 Houston 13.3 24 Philadelphia 12.4 25 Atlanta 10 26 Denver 7.6 27 Kansas City 7 28 Baltimore 5.7 29 Indianapolis 4.9 30 Carolina 3.4 31 Washington 0.95 32 Pittsburgh 0.15