NASHVILLE – Free agency is under way, and based on my Twitter mentions and feedback in the mailbag, Titans fans seem anxious.
Hey, I get it.
So far, the team has re-signed two of its own – edge rusher Harold Landry and center Ben Jones – to multi-year contract extensions while also inking one-year deals with tight end Geoff Swaim, long snapper Morgan Cox, back-up QB Logan Woodside, receiver Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, and defensive lineman Teair Tart.
Cornerback Buster Skrine and running back Jordan Wilkins also agreed to terms with the team on Friday, and on Saturday morning the Titans announced new deals with kicker Randy Bullock and running back Dontrell Hilliard.
Meanwhile, deals have also been announced for lineman Jamarco Jones (Seahawks) and running back/returner Trenton Cannon (49ers), while another deal – for Texans DB A.J. Moore – is a few days away from being official.
Also, according to several national reporters, the Titans have reached a deal with former Browns tight end Austin Hooper, although that hasn't been announced by the team. Sounds like that one could be a few days away as well, as Hooper needs to pass a physical and sign the contract before it becomes official.
But there have also been departures – guard Rodger Saffold, receiver Julio Jones, tackle Kendall Lamm, running back Darrynton Evans and cornerback Jackrabbit Jenkins have been released – and running back D'Onta Foreman has signed elsewhere (Panthers). Looks like fullback Khari Blasingame is headed to the Bears as well.
Meanwhile, other teams across the AFC are making a lot of noise.
In this weekend's mailbag, I'll do my best to answer your questions.
Two things to keep in mind: 1. The team's writer doesn't make decisions in free agency. 2. The regular season opener is still roughly 5-6 months away.
Here's the link to ask questions: CLICK HERE
Jimmy Dee from Battle Ground, Washington
Question: Dear Jim, I hate to say it but it looks like the Titans are in trouble. The Titans need a WR2 and WR3, 1 starting offensive lineman, 1 starting TE, & a solid backup RB since Henry's foot is suspect. The Titans also need a solid veteran CB since Caleb Farley is not a sure thing for 2022. Right now, this Titans team is worse than the 2021 Titans offense. I know there's more FA to do and there's still the draft coming, but the loss of the 2nd round pick means the Titans are not going to fill all of these holes in the draft.
Jim: I like the optimism, Jimmy Dee. 😬 Yes, the team has some holes right now. But again, it's still early in the offseason.
William Young from Las Vegas, Nevada
Question: Very Underwhelming is the word I would use for the start of the Titan's Free Agency! I know resigning Ben Jones and Harold Landry is good, but why is JRob signing Practice Squad players now like: Trenton Cannon, A.J. Moore and Jamarco Jones? Practice Squad players are supposed to be add in late August! Last year the Titans add Jim Schwartz to help improve a weak defensive coordinator and it worked! This year 2022 the Titans are adding Tim Kelly to help the poor offense under Todd Downing, my question is: Are the Titans going to help find a Draft Guru to help JRob with 1st Round Picks and possible some Free Agency help! Thank you for reading my email, Concerned Titans Fan!
Jim: 'Very Underwhelming' is two words, William. ☺️ As I said previously, I understand the anxiousness. But the three players you mentioned aren't practice squad players. And Hooper, who you failed to mention, is a two-time Pro Bowler. … Lastly, with the way the GM has changed the look of the team since being hired, I'm not sure he deserves the cheap shots. Sure, he's had some misses, but so has every GM in the game. And without question his body of work is pretty solid while turning the Titans into a perennial contender.
Carol Thomas from Chattanooga, Tennessee
Question: OK got over the Harold Landry scare of him not being in Titan blue next season but then I get word they let Foreman go to the Panthers. Once again, I'm left wondering WHY?? I realize Derrick is the King but at some point even a king needs a break so why not sign Foreman especially since he filled in so well when Derrick was out with a SERIOUS foot injury. I realize there is a salary cap to consider for the 2023 season to keep some of our best players but who knows how that turns out for now. Right now it seems to me we should be more concerned about keeping a team together that can get us the Lombardi Trophy at the end of the 2022 season. Who knows which players will get us there and whether or not their performance will be worth multi-million dollar contracts for 2023. I wish Foreman the best and hope things work out for him with the Panthers. I still believe while Derrick is the King, Foreman was a Prince.
Jim: Hi Carol. I'm not going to lie – I would've loved to have seen D'Onta back with the Titans as well. But for $2 million, it doesn't make sense. Not with Derrick Henry on the roster. Derrick is going to continue to be the lead dog, getting the majority of the carries. His base salary is $12 million in 2022. The Titans will find another back to complement Derrick, and hopefully he'll be able to contribute nicely. Some good backs remain available in free agency, and some good ones will be available in the draft.
Todd Wilder from New Braunfels, Texas
Question: Before you start freaking out Titans fans. Whether it's due to recent releases or no "splash signings".. RELAX. At least for now. Within the past week or so, we've retained our premier, Swiss army knife pass rusher. Our tough as hell Center. Who's the heart and soul of that O-Line. A quality #1 TE in Austin Hooper. Buster- a quality 3/4 depth corner who did some good things for us last year. JaMarco Jones is your new Kendall Lamm/ swing tackle replacement. With more versatility and way more upside, and an Ohio State connection on top of it. Would I be happy with this roster on Sept 1? No.. and neither would JRob or Vrabel. But right now? Yes. I am. Still have needs to address, but we're trending. And that's a start.
We cashed in for last year, and the cards didn't come up how we thought. You only get so many tries at this thing. Let's not look back, and think about great runs of regular season success. Meaningless. A hollow participation trophy of what could have been. We've been "knocking on the door" for a long time. It's time to kick the door down. Do what we need to do to make it happen.
Jim: Nice pep talk, Todd! Hope all is well.
Rudi Neumann from Vienna, Austria
Question: Greetings from Austria, long time fan! First of all congrats to Coach Vrab and GM JRob for bringing this culture to Tennessee. Still a supporter of Tannehill therefore i hope we can fix the O-line this year. This leads me to the Draft. As i think it is to early for a TE in the first Round (deep class) there is an apparent need for WR and OL. In my opinion we get the most out of it trading back and earn this second Rounder for a WR plus an O-Liner. Following the Mock Drafts and recognizing some of them have Bernhard Raimann taken by the Titans leads me to some enthusiasm 😉. Started as a WR then TE and now a high prospect O-Liner. What is your take on him? And an additional question is Zach Cunningham still under contract as i loved his addition last year and can't find him on a free agent list?
TitanUp and go 4 it this season!
Jim: Hi Rudi. I know why you are so excited about Bernhard … He's from Austria! 🇦🇹 And he's a tough, solid player. As I look at the team right now, though, I'd love to see help at receiver. … As for Zach, yes he's still under contract and he'll be back in 2022. The defense has a chance to be really good.
Danny Daniels from Victoria, Australia
Question: It looks like some changes are already starting to happen on the offense. I got to be honest, I was really excited at the beginning of last season with Julio but I think we all got a little sucked in to his big production with the Falcons. His injuries coupled with his production last season, I believe that the right decision was made to let him go.
Nick Westbrook-Ikhine is developing well but he isn't quite a number 2 yet. I am at a loss for who can be number 2 for the Titans as most of the names in free agency don't jump out at me (except for OBJ but he would blow whatever budget is available)
I am happy that the Titans resigned Geoff Swaim. He is a decent player. I would like to see Cole Beasley. Gronk would've been a great player to go for too but seeing as Brady didn't really retire I believe he will stay with the Bucs. No question today, just wanted to give my 2 cents. Thanks for reading.
Jim: Appreciate you taking the time, Danny. Back-to-back emails from Austria and Australia!
Frederick Anderson from Walforf, Maryland
Question: Why is the management having a hard time time cutting lewon .... playing against high quality players...lewon was not surprising a game time scratch most of the time this year...management could sing up to three free agents with his salary along.
Jim: It's Lewan with an "a."
Kelly McDowell from Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Question: Howdy Jim, I have more of a random question. With the Titans releasing Julio Jones because of his big contract is it possible for them to sign him back onto the team at a reduced price tag? I mean if he still plans on playing he will most likely have a smaller price tag than the 11 mill he was going to make.
Jim: Hi Kelly. Julio is not coming back…
Rafael Romero from Davis, California
Question: Tannehill staying or going?
Jim: This reminds me of a song by The Clash …
Jordan Brummer from Robinson, Illinois
Question: So just curious as to why the Titans have not made any bold moves in free agency to improve the offense after releasing Jenkins to save money restructuring Cunningham's contract and releasing Julio to save almost 10 million just from Julio.
Jim: Hey Jordan. All I can say is hang in there, it's early. And, keep in mind it was a bold move to lock up Harold Landry on defense with an extension, and to re-sign Ben Jones. The addition of Hooper, barring something unforseen, would be nice. But … I'd be lying if I told you I thought the Titans were currently better on offense right now compared to the end of last season because that's not true. The offense has holes, and, yes, some other AFC teams have signed some big-time playmaker. All I can say is I trust the GM, and it's still early in the offseason.
Terry Anderson from Glasgow, Kentucky
Question: Hello Jim. Hope all is well. Titans off season is off and running! Glad to get deals made with Ben Jones and Landry. Rabbit was released and Julio (too). I don't know where Jon goes from here to improve the offense however, with a healthy Derrick Henry and AJ Brown it's not horrible. Nick played well at times. Dez is a question mark along with Mcmath. Johnson will be a free agent maybe he gets resigned. I think Johnson was on a one year deal. Who knows maybe Julio resigns. I don't know if Julio has anything left in the tank but I would much rather he be a Titan instead of a Patriot like Moss when the league found out Randy could still go. We have a good team in Nashville with a good coach. Jon Robinson and his staff will put a team on the field and Coach will coach them. Last season was a roller coaster ride for sure. I still think we laid an egg and blew a shot to win the whole thing. A lot of teams think that. Buffalo is one. Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes put on a show in the playoffs. Remember that game it was a classic. The Bengals Titans game was a crap show for our offense. Defense played well enough to win but C'est la vie. Ready for 2022 season! Titans will be ready to play. Ryan will be back to form cause The King is healthy.
Jim: Good to hear from you, Terry. You make some good points.
Matthew Reynolds from Clarksville, Tennessee
Question: Have the Titans cleared enough cap space for another Wide Receiver in Free Agency? I'd love to see Jarvis Landry reunite with Tannehill!
Jim: The Titans have enough cap room to get a receiver. Personally, I'd be surprised if it's Jarvis Landry.
John Clark from Knoxville, Tennessee
Question: HEY JIM!!!! I love talking football with you and debating the good the bad and the ugly with other Tennessee Titans fans. We all gave our Qb some rough criticism last season and this off season but truth be told the offensive line played a HUGE PART in it. With Saffold getting released which was hard to watch because he honestly gave his all and with the team sticking with Tannehill as the Qb and NOT knowing which Lewan is gonna show up game day what's the word on building up the offensive line to better quality players. I honestly feel if you give Ryan proper protection that he will shred a team also the deep ball pass defense any word of getting players that can defend the pass without giving up 20+ yards? 2022-2023 NFL SEASON HURRY UP!
Jim: Thanks for taking the time, John. In the coming weeks and months, hopefully the offense will add some more pieces to help Ryan and the offense. It's still early…
Alberto Armando Tellez Salcedo from Durango, Mexico
Question: Hola Jim saludos ya un poco de tiempo que no escribía, pero siempre leo tu columna de preguntas y respuestas. Nuevamente mi pésame por lo de tu Señora Madre. Pasando primero a lo acontecido me da mucho guste que se quede Harold Landry. La salida se Saffold, Jenkins, Lamm pues fueron necesarias para rejuvenecer la edad promedio del equipo y principalmente poder manejar el tope salarial, para comprar algún otro jugador. Quienes de estos nombres se te hacen más factibles que lleguen en la agencia libré?
1. Tyler Conklin
2. Jarvis Landry
3. Robert Tonyan
Me da gustó que regresé Ben Jones y me gustó que se contrato a Jamarcus Jones para cubrir alguna baja de la OL. Dolió la salida de D'Onta Foreman, pero es comprensible.
Con todos los movimientos que se han dado te doy mis candidatos a llegar en el Draft en la primera ronda los Guardias Zion Johnson, Kenyon Green o el WR Treylon Burks. En la tercera ronda El WR Christian Watson, el Ala Cerrado Trey McBride o el TE Jelani Woods.
Saludos a todos los fanáticos de Titans alrededor del mundo y Jim si nos pudieras acompañar en un podcast que se llama "Batalla de Titanes" sería un honor. Es un espació en español para nuestros Titans latinos sin finés de lucro.
Jim: Hola Alberto. Sin duda, los Titans necesitan ayuda en la ofensiva. Y, algunos tipos están siendo arrebatados rápidamente. Me gustan algunas de tus sugerencias. Me encantaría ver un receptor tomado temprano... Me encantaría estar en el podcast en algún momento. Solo avísame cuando me necesites e intentaré que funcione.
Daniel Barham III from Arkansas
Question: Hello Jim. I am leading forwards watching Titans. After my DC team show no respect to us die hard fans for generations. Throw everything away. So I look for some team to start watching. Your team remind me of the John Riggins days. Your QB good but not top kind of QB. The defense is very good but no big name players. I think you need #1TE, #2 RB and line help and yes younger WR. Yes Titans play DC next season. The only time I will see or hear them in next 4 years.DC throw away HTTR, band. fight song and the truth of the team history and who they honor x-player/coach. for the name Redskins How is the salary cap look next few years? This year they are over it. That makes it hard to add key players.
Jim: Hey Daniel. The team has created some cap room of late, and that's why you've see some moves. There's still some money to spend, but not a lot. The GM will have to pick his spots, and draft well. Glad to have you on board!
Have a great weekend everyone!