Players the Titans Need to Re-Sign
Fans are already speculating about the NFL Draft, which won't be held for more than another three months. They're also looking forward to the combine in Indianapolis, which is still more than a month away.
I'm not looking forward to either of them, at least not yet.
First things first. The date I'm looking forward to is March 2, the start of the new NFL calendar year. More specifically, I'm looking forward to the activities which will take place between now and then. The Titans have until March 1 to re-sign their players who will otherwise become free agents March 2.
Here's that list again:
Amano, Eugene C RFA
Bell, Jacob OG RFA
Bennett, Drew WR UFA
Bockwoldt, Colby LB RFA
Brown, Chris RB UFA
Brown, Tony DT ERFA
Collins, Kerry QB UFA
Cramer, Casey TE RFA
Geisinger, Justin C ERFA
Hartsock, Ben TE RFA
Long, Rien DT UFA
Nande, Terna LB ERFA
Nickey, Donnie S UFA
Reynolds, Robert LB RFA
Sirmon, Peter LB UFA
Smith, Robaire DT UFA
Starks, Randy DT RFA
Wade, Bobby WR UFA
Four position groups stand out in that list. Defensive tackle, O-line, receiver, and tight end. There are players in each of those position groups that should be re-signed if possible.
Defensive tackle is a definite team need for the Titans this year. Signing Robaire Smith to a new contract is my first priority at that position group, followed by Rien Long. The Titans didn't have much of a pass rush last year and Long, who was out last year, is the best pass-rushing DT the Titans have. Tony Brown is the kind of player you want on your team but is a bit undersized for DT. The good news for him is that he also plays DE, another position of need for Tennessee. I've been critical of Randy Starks, but think the Titans could tender him to provide depth in the rotation.
Re-signing G/T Jacob Bell is a no-brainer in my book. He needs a nice four-year deal to keep him here a while. Eugene Amano probably doesn't get a new deal but does get tendered.
Drew Bennett and Bobby Wade were the two leading receivers for Tennessee last year, so it doesn't make sense to let them walk in free agency. On the other hand, I wouldn't break the bank or overpay for either of them. Bennett's production has dropped off two years in a row, but he'll still be looking for a nice contract. Both players have indicated they'd like to remain in Tennessee.
My best guess is that both Ben Hartsock and Casey Cramer get tendered. Erron Kinney isn't expected to be back this season and Ben Troupe was a major disappointment, so the Titans have needs to fill at the position. Hartsock is a good on-line blocker, as was Kinney, while Cramer is a H-back who is one of the Titans' best special teams players.
I doubt if the Titans will be able to re-sign Kerry Collins. He wants to be a starter, which won't happen here, so he'll want to enter free agency with his options open to him.
It's doubtful if Peter Sirmon gets offered more than the veteran minimum, since Stephen Tulloch looks to be the middle linebacker of the future. Of course, the Titans would love to keep a smart vet like Sirmon for depth, but won't offer much for a backup at a position that is on the field only 40% of the time. Like Collins, Sirmon would probably prefer to test the waters in free agency.
When the Titans get a new GM signed, he'll have a full plate to get started on right away.