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Tuesday Mailbag: Jim Wyatt Answers Questions From Titans Fans

HuddleTexans

NASHVILLE – We've finally thawed out here in Nashville, and now we're on the march to March.

And free agency.

Some interesting times are ahead for the Titans and the rest of the NFL.

Just how much action we'll see, well, that remains to be seen.

Let's dive in and discuss some of it now…

Here's the link to ask questions: CLICK HERE

Daniel Abeyta from Denver, Colorado
Question:
Hey Jim. What are your thoughts about the projected salary cap this year? Do you think it's going to cause a lot of restructuring/back loading contracts with more guaranteed money?

Jim: Hey Daniel. Well, the cap is going to present a challenge for a lot of teams, and that includes the Titans, who don't have a lot of excess money because of recent deals and the changing landscape. This offseason presents a headache for cap guys all over the league. I remember offseasons in the past when the Titans had to make some tough cuts because of financial constraints. The most memorable offseason, of course, came in 2005 when the team parted ways with popular veterans like Samari Rolle, Derrick Mason, Fred Miller, Kevin Carter, Joe Nedney and Robert Holcombe during a big salary cap purge. Back then, restructuring a lot of deals over the years ultimately game the team no choice. We're dealing with a completely different set up circumstances now, of course, but it's still going to be a challenge. Let's put it into perspective. Consider last year the cap was at $198 million, and year after year the cap has steadily gone up. Those doing the books would have anticipated that this year's cap might've gone up to, let's say, around $205 million. Well, due to COVIID-19 repercussions, it's now going to be around $180 to $185. That's quite a dramatic difference that couldn't have been predicted too far in advance, and it will make it tougher to sign players from other teams, as well as re-signing some of the team's own players. I think it could lead to some restructuring, and it could also lead to guys being released. And while the back loading of contracts might help teams, I'm not so sure players would be too fired up about that. The GM mentioned last week the team is looking at a number of plans as it relates to the offseason. I haven't seen them, but like a lot of folks, I'm interested in seeing how some things play out myself.

Chris LaFromboise from Bottineau, North Dakota
Question:
Hey Jim. After watching the Super Bowl and how dominant the Bucs' d-line is/was, does that play into the minds of GMs and HCs as this is such a copycat league when it comes to offseason moves and decisions?

Jim: It's the first thing I thought of watching the Super Bowl, Chris. Watching the Titans all season, believe me, I saw the lack of a pass rush, and opposing QBs with too much time in the pocket. Seeing the Buccaneers rush Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and fluster him the way they did, I'm sure it hammered home the need for a better pass rush.

William Merriweather from Guthrie, Kentucky
Question:
I know that Titans won't know their cap number until weeks from now, but my question is: Do you think that we can sign both Watt and Clowney. And do u think we upgrade our secondary?

Jim: Frankly, I'd be shocked if the Titans signed both Watt and Clowney. At this point, I'm not real confident either guy will be signed. Just being realistic here, knowing other teams across the league have more money to work with and both of those guys won't come cheap. Now that doesn't mean the Titans won't try and upgrade their pass rush or the secondary.

Caleb Parris from Cookeville, Tennessee
Question:
Hey Jim. I'm mostly just making this in hopes the Titans see this I really hope they do a lot of research on USC safety Talanoa Hufanga that dude plays so much like Troy Polamalu I know safety is not high on the Titans needs but if you see super star potential in a player you have to do so please let JRob and Vrabel know that name I feel like they would fall in love with the guy

Jim: Hey Caleb. I'll spread the word.

Rick Pinkerton from Terryville, Connecticut
Question:
Jim. Hope it warms up down there. We have warmer temps. up here in New England. Two questions What does A J stand for. What is AJ"s real name? Also, there is much talk of Marcus being another Ryan this coming year. I always believed that he was a very good QB. Look at how much money he made as a back up. Do you see him starting somewhere this year? Do you think he can correct his problems that demoted him. Thanks

Jim: A.J. stands for Arthur Juan Brown. As for Marcus, I don't anticipate him having a career resurgence like Ryan Tannehill. Don't get me wrong, I'm pulling for him, and I hope he gets the chance.

Michael Roach from Columbus, Ohio
Question:
Good afternoon Jim hope you are well and safe. I'm emailing from Columbus Ohio. Not many Titans fans in Ohio, but I have been a die hard fan since the earlier days with Mcnair and Eddie George. First, I just want to say the success we have had since Vrabel has taken over has been amazing, And Jon Robinson has done an amazing job. It seems like we have had some bad luck with draft picks in recent years and NFL.com rated Titans last in the league with Rookie production this past year. My questions is: How is do you see the Titans avoid wasting high draft pick on players who don't produce or even the tough scenarios Like Dodd from Clemson and Wilson from Georgia. We have a huge need with pass rush and all I am reading about the defense of ends in this draft are they are projects and need to develop and would hate to see us waste a first round pick on a project. Do you think we will go after veterans in free agency instead this year? Thank you for your time and Excited for next season #TitanUp

Jim: Hey Michael. There's not a team in the NFL that hasn't had its share of draft misses. The key is avoiding them. And I can tell you what happened with Kevin Dodd and Isaiah Wilson have nothing to do with the players who will be picked in this year's draft. Every player is different. The decision makers are doing their best, believe me, because their futures depend on the success of their decisions, and the success of team. You'll see the 2021 roster built on draft picks and free agents, but I'm expecting a lot of one-year deals in free agency against this year. I think you'll see that across the league.

Todd Jarrell from Hendersonville, Tennessee
Question:
Good morning Jim. What happened to Anthony Firkser? IMO he has the best hands on the team and when he's on the field he gets open. Have any idea why his PT decreased this year?

Jim: Hey Todd. Well, Anthony actually had the best year of his career, with 39 catches for 387 yards – he nearly tripled his receptions from the previous season (14) and nearly doubled his yardage total (204) from 2019. I expect the team will try and bring him back for 2021 – he's scheduled to be a restricted free agent.

Have a great week everyone!

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