CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco ranked his top 50 free agents, noting that it's starting to look like four years will now be enough to qualify for unrestricted free agency.
In the last two months, I've written about potential free agents the Titans should be interested in at five positions - strong safety, defensive end, middle linebacker, interior line and fullback - and a lot of those guys are also in Prisco's top 50.
Here's how Prisco ranks these guys, and my comments, after the jump.
31. Quintin Mikell, Eagles
42. Dawan Landry, Ravens
I'd rather have Landry than Mikell, but would be happy with either and would also be glad to get Danieal Manning.
2. Charles Johnson, Panthers
4. Ray Edwards, Vikings
39. Mathias Kiwanuka, Giants
I wanted Edwards a year ago and still do. I haven't seen enough of Johnson yet to make me want him more than Edwards, but a lot of people have written he's the best free agent 4-3 DE. If healthy, Kiwanuka could be a steal and contribute for a few years.
15. Paul Posluszny, Bills
18. Stephen Tulloch, Titans
37. Kevin Burnett, Chargers
38. Barrett Ruud, Buccaneers
I'd love some Posluszny, even if he is a tad small for what Jerry Gray says he wants.
13. Marshal Yanda, Ravens
26. Davin Joseph, Buccaneers
36. Justin Blalock, Falcons
45. Harvey Dahl, Falcons
Prisco notes that Yanda can also play tackle, where the money is, which may be the reason why he ranks Yanda this high.
Players I thought the Titans should consider who didn't make Prisco's top 50:
S Danieal Manning, Bears
MLB Stewart Bradley, Eagles
MLB Kirk Morrison, Jaguars
G Carl Nicks, Saints
G Daryn Colledge, Packers
G Deuce Lutui, Cardinals
C Lyle Sendlein, Cardinals
G Leroy Harris, Titans
FB Vonta Leach, Texans
FB Le'Ron McClain, Ravens
FB John Kuhn, Packers
FB Marcel Reece, Raiders
FB Mike Tolbert, Chargers
Nicks will be a restricted free agent, which is probably why Prisco didn't include him. Prisco didn't have any fullbacks on his list.
Guys in Prisco's top 50, at positions of need, who I didn't write about:
11. S Michael Huff - Although he did play strong safety his first two years in the league, he's really more of a free safety, which is one reason why I didn't include him in my list of potential targets. Another reason is that run support isn't Huff's strong suit.
18. DE Jason Babin - He doesn't seem like a great fit in Jerry Gray's and Tracy Rocker's new scheme, and I don't expect him back. Babin should fit well in Jim Washburn's scheme which he took to Philadelphia and the Eagles will probably offer him more than the Titans will (if the Titans make him an offer at all.)
Of the notable Titans free agents to be (Tulloch, Babin, Ahmard Hall and Leroy Harris), Hall is the free agent I expect is most likely to be back in two-tone blue this season. Other teams will probably overpay to get Babin and Tulloch. David Ball seems to be the most likely non-starter free agent who will be back with the Titans. Sorry, Donnie Nickey.
I don't think the Titans are going to make too big of a splash in free agency, but I do think they will pick up a couple of higher level free agents. Posluszny would be an outstanding pick-up. Although, I still think it might be a guy who is a little older like Takeo Spikes who would only be signed for a year or two. I also think the Titans will pick up a solid mid-range TE who can both block and catch. The only TE listed in Prisco's top 50 is Miller - but they aren't going to spend the money that would be needed to go after him. As for the starting strong safety position for Tennessee, I think that starter is already on the roster - it could be Hope, but it also might be Johnson or Rolle.
So the only other position of need that I think the Titans might go after and seek a higher level free agent is at the interior offensive lineman. A guy like Justin Blalock is a possibility.
I fear you may be right, Scott. The Titans don't normally do much in free agency, at least not in pursuing upper-level guys. I would love two guys you mentioned, Posluszny and Blalock.
You're probably spot on about the TEs - it won't be Miller. Cook should become the top receiving TE and I imagine the Titans will look for a guy like they had last summer in Sean Ryan, a blocker who would backup Stevens.
Have to disagree with you a little about SS. You're probably right that the starter is already on the roster but it won't be Rolle or Johnson. Rolle is just too slow - I don't know why the Titans drafted him, he's slower than Nickey. Johnson is a prototypical center field free safety, so if he becomes a starter, you'd never see him in the box - it would have to be Griffin taking on that role again. I think Schommer is the next best SS after Hope, so if someone already on the roster replaces Hope, my money is on Schommer.
Thanks for your comments. Hope you're having a great holiday weekend.