NASHVILLE – Another week down in February, and now we're barely a week away from the NFL Combine.
And a week closer to free agency.
Hope everyone had a great Valentine's Day.
Hope you love this weekend's Titans mailbag …
Silva Robert from Honolulu, Hawaii
Question: As much as I think Derrick Henry is great the amount of money he indicates he wants is too much. Paying ZEKE (Ezekiel Elliott) money will send Titans backwards. What is your opinion?
Jim: Hey Silva. I'm glad you asked. Here's my opinion: Derrick's comments to Rich Eisen were misinterpreted. Heck, don't take my word on it, take Derrick's. On Instagram, 'Catchtheblitz' made a post with the words "ZEKE IS THE FLOOR" after Derrick made his comments to Eisen during a casual, light-hearted conversation during Super Bowl week. I'm not sure how many people noticed, but Derrick was among those who commented under the 'Catchtheblitz post. This is what "last_king_2" said: Misinterpreted what he said, thought he was saying "Zeke is the floor", meaning he holds the floor as him being the highest paid at our position. So I was replying yes 🤦🏾♂️🤦🏾♂️ lol oh well."
Again, those are Derrick's words in the comments section, not mine. Hopefully this clears some of it up…
Ben Kreicar from Williamsburg, Virginia
Question: Hey Jim. Thanks for all your work with the Titans. As I look at cap space and free agency, it seems like there maybe a couple cap casualties. We've had some great play at the tight end position in Delanie's absence. I would hate to see us lose such an influencer for this team, but the business side of things may make sense and allow for other positions to be upgraded. Could you give your opinion on this and some of the guys that maybe on that bubble?
Jim: Hey Ben. Fair question, and I appreciate you taking the time. But I'm not going to speculate on who might get cut, or who could be cap casualty. I just don't think the team's website is the place to do that, and I have a feeling my superiors would agree. I do know the team definitely has some business decisions to make regarding several players with big contract numbers for 2020. I will say this: If the Titans want to keep a player around, and the player wants to stay, there are ways to make it happen with renegotiated deals. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't. And a lot of times these things come to a head leading up to the start of free agency.
Fred Valmoja from Henderson, Nevada
Question: It's sad to have seen Mariota's performances go downhill especially this past season. What's your take on what the Titans will do with him?
Jim: Hey Fred. The Titans don't have to do anything with him. Marcus is scheduled to become a free agent on March 18, and at some point I expect him to sign with another team. And I hope he does well.
Manuel Cordero from Ferrol, Spain
Question: Hola de nuevo Jim, no escribía desde la pretemporada porque no quería molestar mucho al escribir en español y tengas que traducirlo. Pero ahora ya en frío, después de esta gran temporada tenía que expresar el orgullo que sentí con los Titans. No me perdí ni un minuto de ningún partido. Salté, me enfadé, lloré, grité,...como hacía tiempo que no me pasaba ni con el F.C. Barcelona ni con los Grizzlies de los que también soy fanático. Podría ponerme a comentar cada partido pero esto sería muy largo. Cuando las cosas no iban muy bien tenía ganas de probar a Tannehill y al final salió y arrasó, desde ahí fuimos un espectáculo, el grupo parecía una familia trabajando duro por el de al lado, sufrían, luchaban, pero lo pasaban bien. Luego en playoffs sabía que ganábamos a los Patriots y cuando nos vengamos de los Ravens yo estaba en una nube. Lástima no poder repetir el partido que hicimos contra los Chiefs en Nashville, pero igualmente muy orgulloso y quiero darle las GRACIAS al equipo. Me dan ganas de irme a vivir allí jejeje. El año que viene a por todas y tú sigue así, eres el mejor. TITANUP!!!
Jim: Hola Manuel. Realmente aprecio que te hayas tomado el tiempo. Definitivamente valió la pena la espera, y me alegra saber que disfrutaste la temporada. Fue un año divertido, y desafortunadamente el equipo obtuvo dos victorias antes de ganar el Super Bowl. Ahora, la misión es hacer que suceda en 2020. Hay trabajo por hacer en esta temporada baja, pero creo que el equipo comenzará el año con algo de impulso.
Bill in Spokane, Washington
Question: Mr. Wyatt. How did rookies DT Jeffery Simmons and RG Nate Davis grade out for the season? Are either/both of their positions a priority for free agency or the draft? Thanks!
Jim: Hey Bill. I've seen the PFF grades, but I haven't seen the coaching grades – I don't get access to those. But I think it's safe to say both players graded out really well. Nate Davis ended up starting 15 games this season, including playoffs, and he was part of an offensive line that paved the way for the league's leading rusher. He's only going to get better. As for Simmons, he was a disruptive player in the second half of the season, and another year removed from surgery he should be even better in Year 2. As for positions of need, well I think the biggest questions on the offensive line are at tackle, but depth inside and versatility will always be a priority. On the defensive line, I also expect newcomers to be in the mix for next season and that could come via free agency and/or the draft.
Jeffery Fradsham from Crewe, Virginia
Question: Jim. Happy offseason! do you believe Kalif Raymond has shown enough to make the team in 2020? I have been impressed with a couple of his catches this past season.
Jim: Hey Jeffery. I sure thought Kalif provided a spark in the second half of the year. And I think he did enough to earn a chance to compete for a roster spot this offseason, and in training camp. And he's under contract. But there's a lot TBD this offseason at the receiver spot, from the possibility of adding players in free agency and/or in the draft. You can bank on a bunch of undrafted free agents being in the mix as well. Right now, I don't know who Kalif might be competing against. Corey Davis, A.J. Brown, and Adam Humphries are all under contract, too, but Tajae Sharpe is not and the same goes for Cameron Batson (exclusive rights free agent) and Darius Jennings (restricted free agent). So the final 2 or 3 receivers will have to fight their way on to the 53.
Steve Crosio from Brick, New Jersey
Question: Hey there Jim. An ESPN analyst says we might trade for Derek Carr so he can backup Ryan Tannehill once we resign him what are our chances of this being true?
Jim: Hey Steve. Hey, I've seen so many rumors floating around out there, it's hard to keep track. My initial thoughts: Have the Raiders indicated they're really moving on from Carr? And, if the Raiders are really sending Carr packing, I'm thinking they'd probably aim to send him to a place where he could be a starter, since the compensation would be higher. Carr is not a throwaway player.
Have a great weekend everyone!