NASHVILLE, Tenn. — **The Titans were involved in a blockbuster trade on Thursday morning, and the reaction inside Saint Thomas Sports Park resembled what happens inside a victorious locker room.
"We were high-fiving,'' Titans coach Mike Mularkey said with a smile. "We were fist-bumping, no doubt. The coaches, I can tell you they were really jacked up."
Not long after the Titans traded the No.1 pick of the draft to the Los Angeles Rams for a boatload of pick, Mularkey also heard from his quarterback, Marcus Mariota.
"It wasn't even 30 minutes after it went down he reached out to me,'' Mularkey said of Mariota. "He is excited about what we are doing. He was like, "Great job with the trade. He's pumped."
In a trade that shook up the NFL Draft, the Titans sent the first overall pick of the draft to the Rams for the 15th overall pick in this year's draft, two second-round picks (43 and 45), and a third-rounder (76) in 2016. The Titans will also receive the Rams' first-round pick in 2017, along with their third-round pick in next year's draft.
In addition to Tennessee's No.1 pick this year, the Rams will also receive a fourth-round pick (113) and sixth-round pick (177) in 2016.
Mularkey gave props to general manager Jon Robinson for his handling of the trade negotiations.
"He thinks things out very diligently, and he's thorough,'' Mularkey said of Robinson. "He is very detailed, and we are a lot alike like that. There were so many scenarios we talked through during this process, we knew all the options. But knowing what the needs of other teams are … Jon knows them very well.
"He is aggressive, and really, what do you have to lose? You throw it out there and see if they are interested. If teams are really wanting somebody that bad, you take that risk."
Robinson said during a press conference on Thursday he talked to a number of teams and received several trade offers. The Titans and Rams teams agreed to the deal on Wednesday night, and the agreement was made public on Thursday morning.
Mularkey said the two teams had been closing in on the deal, and the Rams sweetened the pot. Soon after, the deal got done.
"I think we felt it was done and thought, "Let's go one more step and see how far we can take it.' And that is what happened yesterday,'' Mularkey said. "And Jon and I both agreed if that does happen, we thought about the timing of pulling the trigger. We felt like, "OK, if they do this, we would do it now.' And that is what happened.
"There were a number of offers that came across from a number of teams and we both said to ourselves, "We don't have that, "Yes, this is it. This is the one." And yesterday that feeling hit us."
Early Thursday morning, Robinson gathered the scouting staff upstairs in the War Room and delivered the news. Downstairs, Mularkey had the coaches together in a meeting room. At the same time, the general manager and coach let the two groups in on the news that ended up spreading like wildfire across the NFL this morning.
As a result of the trade, the Titans now have six picks in the top 76 in this year's draft – 15, 33, 43, 45, 64 and 76. The Titans already held picks 33 and 64.
Since the beginning of March, the Titans have also added 10 new veterans, including a trade for running back DeMarco Murray.
Together, Mularkey said he and Robinson are keeping a promise made earlier this offseason.
"We have talked about change,'' Mularkey said. "We've said, 'Give us a chance and there will be changes.' There have been coaching changes, changes with players. It's not just talk. And we are not done. We still have a lot of work done that will involve change.
"(The trade) helps. Obviously with that number of picks and where they are, you are going to build depth. You are hoping to find starters in those picks, but you are going to definitely find quality players that are going to help your football team immediately. This football team is going to continue to get better, and we are not done."