Are the Tennessee Titans preparing for life without Bo Scaife?

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Prior to the beginning of unrestricted free agency, the Tennessee Titans made signing TE Bo Scaife one of their top priorities. However, to Bo’s dismay, instead of coming up with a long-term deal, the team decided to slap him with an UFA’s worst nightmare: the ever-popular franchise tag.

A few weeks ago, unlike the majority of his teammates, Bo decided to pass on attending voluntary workouts in his protest about receiving the tag and the inability of the Titans to show him the long-term money.

In an interesting development, the Titans are hosting TE Shawn Nelson for a pre-draft visit. The 6’5″ 240 lb receiving threat is rated as the draft’s second-best TE, and perhaps it’s no coincidence that the Titans would be interested in Nelson shortly after Scaife decided to voice his long-term contract demands.

Could Nelson be Scaife’s future replacement?

Titans’ fans are well aware of the cat and mouse game that takes place when a player is franchised. Recently-departed Albert Haynesworth was extended the franchise tag by the Titans despite #92’s desire to attain the gargantuan deal that was eventually awaiting him in unrestricted free agency.

However, Mike Reinfeldt is no idiot, so he devised a contigency plan that consisted of providing Haynesworth with a player-friendly incentive-laden one-year deal that easily allowed Albert to avoid being tagged again.

Meanwhile, Reinfeldt also shrewdly drafted DT Jason Jones in the 2nd round of last year’s draft, which provided the team with a possible future replacement in case of Haynesworth’s inevitable departure. 

Let’s fast-forward to 2009. Instead of Albert, it’s Scaife who is unhappy about receiving the franchise tag. Substitute Shawn Nelson for Jason Jones and you have another potential situation where the team is possibly preparing to replace a starter in the not-so-distant future.

Nelson isn’t known for his blocking skills, so last year’s 3rd round pick Craig Stevens probably still has the inside track as the team’s future blocking TE. Nelson is a tall/agile target who is adept at catching the football and with Mike Heimerdinger’s penchant for utilizing double-TE sets, a future tandem of Stevens/Nelson doesn’t look too bad on paper.

Of course, this conversation could become mute if the Titans and Scaife consummate a long-term deal before the July 15th deadline. However, if Nelson or another talented TE such as Jared Cook is drafted by the Titans, that could be an ominous sign for Scaife’s future in Nashville.

So what do you guys think? Will Bo Scaife remain a Titan beyond 2009?     

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6 Responses to “Are the Tennessee Titans preparing for life without Bo Scaife?”

  1. Kevin G Says:

    yes, because he will not be a UFA next year because of the way the CBA is structured. bo will not have been in the league 6 years, and will thus be an RFA. he has almost no leverage in this situation, and I do not think the titans need to add another TE to the talent pool unless it is a late round pick.

  2. Bob Loblaw Says:

    Who knows? Could be a smoke screen, could be looking to replace Crumpler, could be looking to trade Scaife for future picks if they get a guy they like this year. There’s really no telling with these visits. Also, the Titans have been unpredictable in years past, this year may be no different in that respect.

  3. Jeff Lawrence Says:

    For my first time posting on this site, I wanted Drexel to know how much I enjoy your writing. It’s far better than the mindless, predictable crap that is written in the Tennessean so keep it up!

  4. Scott Says:

    I see this as a potential replacement for Crumpler rather than for Scaife, given Crumpler’s age and the fact that it is his last contract year. Or it could be a bit of both. If they do go after Nelson, it will probably have to be in the 2nd or 3rd round. I think that’s where a lot of draft “experts” are placing him. If those experts are right, I’d be surprised if the Titans draft Nelson. However, if his name still hasn’t been called at the end of the 4th round, then (assuming they like him) there is a much greater likelihood that the Titans would take him.

  5. Johnathan Says:

    I like Jared Cook more than Nelson, and I think he is a more likely choice. Although I will admit that Cook reminds me a lot of Ben Troupe coming out of college…

  6. Drexel Perry Says:

    Thanks for the kind words, Jeff. They are greatly appreciated.

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