The Tennessee Titan hit the free agent market again on Sunday, adding wide receiver Kevin Walter, formerly of the Houston Texans, and offensive lineman Chris Spencer, formerly of the Chicago Bears. Both players reportedly signed one-year deals for the veteran minimum.
When the Titans were first reported to be interested in Walter, I compared him to Justin McCareins c. 2008. Walter is slightly bigger (sort of, 6'3"/218 to 6'2"/217) and older (turning 32 in August, while McCareins turned 30 during the season), but both players are veterans whose only plus attribute is good blocking and whose production as a receiver will largely be the result of offensive design rather than them beating their man. Walter is not in my mind a lock to make the team, and I don't think his acquisition lets the Titans move on from Nate Washington any more than any other move they've made at the receiver position this offseason does. Rather, I think he's a different type of fifth/sixth receiver than Lavelle Hawkins; not better, mind you, but not worse and different.
In adding Spencer, the Titans fulfilled my request for somebody who's played right guard in the NFL before. Last year the Bears had him make the anti-Leroy Harris transition from right to left guard, and it apparently went about as well as Leroy's did. He made it two games before being benched, though he made it back into the lineup and started five of the ten games he was active. 2012 was his second season in Chicago. He spent the first six years of his career in Seattle after the Seahawks made him one of the rare centers drafted in the first round in 2005. I still believe the Titans are highly likely to draft a right guard early in this month's draft, but adding Spencer gives them a fallback option if need be for whatever reason. Like Walter, though, I would not classify him as a lock to make the team.
Not sure what to make of the Spencer signing. And Amano is still on the roster. Could this be another indication that the Titans will steer clear of OG with its first pick?
Kevin Walter = cheaper than Lavelle Hawkins; OLs Spencer and Turner = cheaper than Leroy Harris and Eugene Amano (assuming he gets cut). For those reasons, i really like these moves.
The OL moves insure that, if for some reason, Warmack and Cooper are gone, they're "covered." Don't foresee that happening, but fulfills the "just-in-case" scenario.
@Scott P Signing mediocre players for the veteran minimum doesn't affect anything important. Amano's around because they haven't had to pay him anything yet, plus there's a theoretical possibility he has to play with injuries or some general bad luck and whatnot.
@Mark from Madison Warmack and Cooper won't be gone, but the Titans may draft a player they like at a more important position than guard. I'd be fine with that, but would look for them to grab a guard in the second or third round. If there's a run on the position, it wouldn't shock me to see them trade up, since they have the comp picks.
As always, thanks for the comment.