Mike Munchak at the season-ending press conference: "We know we're going to build the offensive line, that's exciting to me, get some young guys. We haven't done that since we drafted Roos and Stewart back in that year when we got them. We're going to get some young guys to add to the offensive line, which will be exciting to do."
Ruston Webster, at the Combine, on drafting a guard in the first round: "I think it can be a value. It needs to be a player that you see coming into your team and making a difference, upgrading you, and possibly being an outstanding player at the position. I’ve never been one to say you don’t take a guard in the first round, or whatever. Some people say don’t take a receiver in the first round. I’ve never looked at it that way. If there’s somebody there that’s a special player, then we’ll take a look at him."
Mike Munchak, at the Combine, on building the offensive line: "You don't only have to do first and second round picks at that position to get it done, but sometimes it's a good idea to have those types of guys."
Ruston Webster, in an appearance on 104.5 on March 14: "We will address the right side [of the offensive line] at some point in the draft, yeah. ... It's a deep draft for guards. First, second, third rounds, there'll be guards all the way through that could come in and start for us." (emphasis added)
Ruston Webster, in an appearance on PFT Live on March 19: "The inside of our offensive line, we really struggled with that last year, our guards and centers. The plan is to revamp that, and [signing Andy Levitre] was the first step that way."
Mike Munchak, in an appearance on March 25 on 102.5 in Nashville: "If we didn't get an offensive lineman, we may be sitting there thinking we need an offensive lineman in the first and second rounds. [Now that we've signed Andy Levitre] you can take the best player available that can come in and start, look at different spots on offense and defense, knowing there's still goals and positions we definitely want to fill. We know we want to do more on the offensive line. We know we want more defensive help. Now we don't have to panic."
Later on in the same appearance: "We have a couple spots left [to fill] on the offensive line and maybe elsewhere on the offense." (emphasis added)
Mike Munchak, in an appearance on March 28 on 104.5 in Nashville: "No big secret, we aged fast at offensive line and didn't want to have to build there all through the draft. We didn't want to go draft 2-3 offensive linemen and count on all three of them starting. [Added Andy Levitre and Rob Turner.] Now going into the draft to finish up what we did there. It's going to be a different look on the inside." (emphasis added)
Some of these comments were before the Titans signed Andy Levitre (and Rob Turner). All of these comments came before the Titans signed Chris Spencer. Free agents signed after the initial rush of free agency do not affect important plans.
There's not much to parse here, really. The Titans WILL be drafting a right guard on Thursday or Friday of this month's NFL draft, and you can take that to the bank.
I agree. There is little doubt that the Titans will draft a guard. The question is when and whether they will use a first or second round pick on a guard. With that in mind Tom, I have a couple of questions for you. First, did the Titans give Spencer or Turner a bonus or guarantee any of their salaries? And second, in the case of Amano, is any part of his salary guaranteed for this year, did he get some sort of a roster bonus this past March (or later) and what's the salary cap hit if they release him? I know that is more than a couple of questions, but I think the answers will help determine at what point in the draft the Titans select a guard.
@Scott P Turner got $250k signing bonus and reportedly has a $250k roster bonus at some point in addition to his $1 million base salary. If the Titans don't want him, he's cheap enough he's gone without a second's thought. I don't know when the roster bonus is; I'd guess after the 53-man cutdown date and before Week 1.
Spencer almost certainly got no more than $50k in guaranteed money and there's no way his salaray is guaranteed (thought I think it effectively is if he's on the roster Week 1).
I haven't seen any reports of a roster bonus for Amano; I think his last paycheck came Week 17 and his next one comes Week 1 if he's still on the team. He has a little over $2 million in signing bonus proration remaining both this year and in 2013. If they cut him before June 1, that's $4.135 million dead money on this year's cap (unless they designate him as a post-June 1 cut). If they cut him after June 1, it's $2.0675 million on this year's cap and $2.0675 million on next year's cap.
@ThomasGower Thanks Tom. It isn't a lot of guaranteed money. I still think it is a bit strange that they have gone out and signed three O-linemen and have kept a guy on the roster (Amano) that, at one point in the past, Munchak must have been really liked. It could be that all of the injuries this past season really spooked Webster and Munchak and they want to be sure they have adequate depth along the O-line this coming season. Or it might even be a bit of a smokescreen to make other teams think that the Titans are no longer interested in drafting an interior lineman at 10. I appreciate the insight you provide in this blog Tom. I always look forward to reading your posts.