All the elements are in position for the Tennessee Titans to take the NFL by storm next season.
They have a young star quarterback, a top five draft pick by way of their trade with the LA Rams last year, and coming off of a 9-7 record in a weak division there’s a good chance that they will go to the playoffs for the first time since 2008 and only the third time since 2003. For a team that went 5-25 in two seasons prior to 2016, there will be a lot of people in the Titans’ corner next season and I firmly believe that they’ll break through to the other side thanks to Marcus Mariota, a top offensive line, two first round picks, and some pre-breakout players on offense and defense like Tajae Sharpe and Kevin Byard.
But it doesn’t hurt that Tennessee isn’t likely to lose any of their good players and still has plenty of cap space and draft capital to do nothing less than improve for next season. Could any of the players they’re likely to move on from be of help to the Seattle Seahawks though?
Impending Free Agents
Chance Warmack, G
Before you start counting Warmack as the steal of the 2017 free agency period because he was a great offensive line prospect four years ago, take some time to appreciate the fact that he wouldn’t be the first top prospect to flame out in under five years.
Look at Jason Smith, Mike Williams, or Eugene Chung. Fellow free agent guard Jonathan Cooper faces a similar uncertain future right now. At this point, Warmack should be looked for what he is: One of the worst starting guards in the NFL up until he missed all but two games last season before going on IR with a hand injury. Not that the Titans missed him, as they had arguably the best offensive line in the league last year, yes, ahead of the Dallas Cowboys.
Still, Tennessee has a need at guard and there is no talk of them bringing back Warmack, who they could have had for relatively cheap if they had picked up his fifth-year option in 2016, but they declined to do so.
As a prospect, Warmack was drawing comparisons to Steve Hutchinson and some thought he may have been the best player in the 2013 draft. The Titans took him 10th overall, the highest selection of a guard since 1997, but by his second season it became apparent that he wasn’t moving towards his potential so much as he was wasting it. Funny enough, I actually don’t think Warmack is even athletic enough to play for Seattle. His 5.49 40-yard dash is slow, even for a lineman (only two guards were slower) and his 9’2 broad jump was okay, but he didn’t do any other drills, even at his pro day. Without that combination of knowing his vertical, bench (which I believe could be 35 reps), and everything else, Warmack was a mystery that teams were going to bank on anyway because of his reputation at Alabama as the best lineman in the country. But maybe it was just smart of Warmack to not give them any additional data (he said he was dealing with quad and finger injuries at the time) knowing he’d be a high pick anyway. He also dropped nearly 20 pounds before the combine, meaning he’d be playing at an even heavier, aka slower, weight during the season.
You might say that you want the Seahawks to sign Chance Warmack, but that’s not really what you mean. What you mean is that you want the Seahawks to draft Chance Warmack. You want the player who was everyone’s favorite guard in 2013. That was four years ago and when he would’ve been a lot cheaper than he might be next season. Get over it. If Seattle did sign Warmack, then fine, add some competition, but I have little faith he’d be better than Mark Glowinski or Germain Ifedi (and they aren’t replacing Ifedi unless they’re moving him to tackle) and those players are already on the roster and should be much cheaper. Forget the name signing. If it happens, it happens, but I would hope it’s on a cheap one-year deal with little in the way of guarantees.
Karl Klug, DL
A fifth round pick in 2011, Klug has spent his entire six-season career as a rotational defensive lineman for the Titans. He had seven sacks as a rookie but just 13 over the last five years, though the rookie numbers were more of a red herring and not what he should be expected to do. Klug could be a five-tech in Seattle’s scheme and he is known for being a great teammate and locker room presence. If he’s content with being a rotational player, which is what I assume he’d be for Pete Carroll, then I’d just as quickly assume that he’ll stay in Tennessee and continue being that for them. If he wants more of an opportunity to start and get additional snaps, he’ll go somewhere else.
Byron Bell, RT
Bell dislocated his ankle last summer and missed the entire season. He could be cheap, but Bell lacks the athleticism that the Seahawks look for in an offensive lineman. I don’t see him as a target.
Others: QB Matt Cassel, TE Anthony Fasano, WR Marc Mariani, WR Kendall Wright, LB Sean Spence, C Brian Schwenke, LB Nate Palmer, LB David Bass, S Damion Stafford, CB Antwon Valentino Blake, S Rashad Johnson
Potential Cap Casualties
With $62.3 million in current cap space per OvertheCap.com, there’s little reason for the Titans to cut anyone who isn’t an obvious waste of a roster space.
Harry Douglas, WR
Tennessee will save $3.75 million when they release Douglas, the 32-year-old who had 15 catches in 11 games last season with zero touchdowns. Douglas has done a nice job of cashing in on a career with 10 touchdowns over eight seasons.
The Titans could make other moves as well, but at this point if you’re being released by Tennessee, you may not have much of a future in the NFL remaining.
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