On the Clock: 2023 Tennessee Titans
The 2022 Titans saw their first losing season under Mike Vrabel and their first time missing the playoffs since 2018. There were a lot of changes for the Titans in 2022 and it all started at the NFL Draft when they traded AJ Brown to the Eagles. Will Tennessee make another splash in this Draft, or will they continue to build on their balanced roster?
2022 Record: 7-10
GM: Ryan Carthon
HC: Mike Vrabel
OC: Tim Kelly
DC: Shane Bowen
Offense: 28th Scoring
Ryan Tannehill 65.2%, 2536 13-6
Derrick Henry 349-1538-13
Robert Woods 53-527-2
Defense: 14th Scoring
Kevin Byard 108 Tak, 4 Int, 6 PD
Jeffery Simmons 7.5 Sacks, 7 PD
DeMarcus Walker 10 TFL
Notable Free Agents:
Pos, Name, Age, Contract Status, 2022 Snap Count
RG - Dennis Daley (27), UFA, 90.8%
RG - Nate Davis (27), UFA, 44.2%
LG - Aaron Brewer (26), RFA, 99.4%
(6) Projected Cost of Rookie Picks in 2023: $8.8m
Round 1 #11
Round 2 #41
Round 3 #72
Round 5 #149
Round 6 #186
Round 7 #230
The Titans are currently 20.9m over the salary cap with 57 players rostered. The biggest question for their cap space will be the status of Ryan Tannehill. Tennessee saw their playoff hopes to dwindle each week as they started out 7-3 and lost their last 7. Flipping quarterbacks between Tannehill, Joshua Dobbs and Malik Willis will not provide consistency, but when injuries happen, teams have to adjust quickly…Tennessee didn’t. Tannehill’s cap number for 2023 is 36.6m and has 2 voided years built into his contract already. IF the Titans decided to go with their 3rd-round pick last season in Willis, and designate Tannehill as a post-June 1st cut, they will cover most of their cap, but that doesn’t account for the 8.8m they will need for their draft class. Bud Dupree will be turning 30 for the 2023 season and has a lot of money tied up in base salary, so they could move some of that to bonus and build in some voided years to give themselves some more cap relief.
If there is anything that Vrabel learned from his coach in New England, it's to release a player before it was their time to go. If you make it to free agency as a part of a Vrabel team, it would be wise to update your resume. Most of the free agents that the Titans currently have are not likely to be on the 2023 roster. However, when most of those names are staples on the offensive line, Vrabel and GM Ryan Carthon may make an exception.
Smart money has the Titans going with Paris Johnson Jr. the 6’6” 310-pound tackle out of THE Ohio State, which would make sense if Tennessee are losing some members of that line on the interior. Also, wise to protect their mobile quarterback if they move on from Tannehill and someone to open up lanes for Derrick Henry. Henry will be 29 in 2023 and already has 2 voided years built into his contract signaling that 2023 will be his last in Tennessee. In his 7 years in Tennessee, Henry has 1750 carries and 3 of those seasons he saw over 300 carries. He is at that age were running backs start slowing down, especially with the physicality in which he runs, but he is a freak, who knows how much longer he will play.
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