The Titans' five free-agent additions all came with reasonable contracts. They upgraded tight end significantly with Alge Crumpler and also got a good third guy, Dwayne Blakley who should help in the run game. They think Jevon Kearse will get one-on-one blocking and be able to be productive as their left end. They believe Jake Scott is actually an upgrade over departed Jacob Bell. And another former Titan, receiver Justin McCareins, played his best ball last time he was with offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger. If they make any more moves, they are unlikely to involve big names. More likely they'll be role players or values or both.
Top needs remain receiver, a change up running back, more help at defensive end and some better depth at defensive tackle.
TEAM NEEDS/OFFSEASON STRATEGY
1. Wide receiver: The Titans have been wary of using first-round picks on the position, long a problem spot for the franchise. Odds are a draft pick won't have the immediate impact they need. And the free agent market is thinned.
2. Running back: LenDale White and Chris Henry are in place, but the Titans need a third guy and he could wind up a starter depending on how White is viewed by a new offensive coordinator. They met with Julius Jones and talked with Warrick Dunn's agent before they signed elsewhere. But at 24 in the first round, they could find a quality playmaker.
3. Defensive end: A strength got a hole punched in it in free agency with the departure of Antwan Odom and Travis LaBoy. The return of Jevon Kearse plugs part of the hole, but the Titans need to give defensive line coach Jim Washburn some other quality options to mold. Left ends are likely to get one-on-one blocking when DT Albert Haynesworth is going well and RE Kyle Vanden Bosch is on the field, which is almost always.
The Titans are guarded about injury information, and we likely won't learn much about progress of guy who are coming off surgery until the offseason program starts March 24, or even later. None of the injuries from 2007 are expected to keep players from being ready for the start of training camp.
DT Albert Haynesworth (tendered at $7.25M).
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS
--LB Gilbert Gardner was the team's second most productive special teams tackler, but not a great backup.
--CB Chidi Iwuoma ranks behind a lot of cornerbacks on the roster.
--WR Eric Moulds was a very good leader, but his production and lack of separation may not be enough to warrant a contract anywhere.
--S Donnie Nickey is getting expensive for a backup/ special teamer.
--LB Robert Reynolds only stayed on roster because of injury; no future in Tennessee.
--LB Rich Scanlon played hard, but upgrading the reserve linebackers will be an offseason project in Tennessee.
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered offers)
--CB Michael Waddell (not tendered as RFA).
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS
--K Rob Bironas (tendered at $1.47M with 2nd-round pick as compensation) was an All Pro and should get a long-term deal.
--TE/FB Casey Cramer (tendered at $927,000 with 7th-round pick as compensation) will probably get a low tender.
--S Vincent Fuller (tendered at $927,000 with 4th-round pick as compensation) showed he can be a quality nickel back.
--CB Reynaldo Hill (tendered at $927,000 with 7th-round pick as compensation) amounts to affordable, experienced depth.
--TE Bo Scaife (tendered at $1.47M with 2nd-round pick as compensation) could blossom when asked to do less now that Alge Crumpler is on the roster.
--RT David Stewart (tendered at $2.017M with 1st-round pick as compensation) should be targeted for a long-term deal.
EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS
--DE Sean Conover is a role player will have more competition.
--FB Ahmard Hall ranks as a quality blocker and he is also good with ball in hands.
--TE Dwayne Blakley: UFA Falcons; 1 yr, terms unknown.
--TE Alge Crumpler: FA Falcons; $5M/2 yrs, $1M SB; 2008 cap: $1.7M.
--DE Jevon Kearse: FA Eagles; $6M/2 yrs, $1.3M SB; 2008 cap: $2.35M.
--WR Justin McCareins: FA Jets; $1M/1 yr, $270,000 SB.
--OG Jake Scott: UFA Colts; $19.5M/4 yrs, $4M SB/$2M RB.
--WR Justin Gage: Potential UFA; $14M/4 yrs, $6.5M guaranteed.
--T Daniel Loper: RFA: $927,000/1 yr.
--G Jacob Bell: UFA Rams; $36M/6 yrs, $7M SB/$13M guaranteed.
--RB Chris Brown: UFA Texans; $3.6M/2 yrs, $800,000 SB.
--WR David Givens (released).
--TE Ben Hartsock: UFA Falcons; $9M/4 yrs, $2.5M guaranteed.
--CB Kelly Herndon (released).
--DE Travis LaBoy: UFA Cardinals; $22M/5 yrs, $7.5M guaranteed.
--DE Antwan Odom: UFA Bengals; $29.5M/5 yrs, $11M guaranteed.
--DT Randy Starks: UFA Dolphins; $21M/5 yrs, $7M guaranteed.
--TE Ben Troupe: UFA Buccaneers; terms unknown.
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