Reviewing some of the Titans’ free agents to be

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After reading Jim Wyatt’s blog a few days ago about Stephen Tulloch and a possible contract extension, I thought I’d follow up on that by looking at some other Titans in the last year of their contracts. That’s been on my to-do list for a while and I might as well do that one now.
 
Here are some of those players, listed in alphabetical order.
 
Eugene Amano – He’s not a guy you look to lock up early. I liken his situation to that of Jacob Bell, the man he replaced. The Titans will make him an offer next offseason but he’ll probably test the free agent market and then go somewhere else.
 
Tony Brown – Tony will have a chance to cash in as a free agent next year and it might be a good idea to give him an early extension for a second time. At the age of 28, he’s still in the prime of his career.

Keith Bulluck – Mr. Monday Night led the Titans in tackles last year, the sixth time he’s accomplished that feat. He’s definitely still playing at a high level and can probably do so for another year or two. We’ll see if Bulluck slows down this year. If he doesn’t, he’s a guy you want to keep and just hope the price tag is affordable. When he decides to retire, I’d like to see him do it as a Titan.
 
Alge Crumpler – Although he blocked very well last year, Algernon didn’t turn out to be the red zone threat the Titans needed. Craig Stevens should be Crumpler’s replacement as an inline blocker and rookie Jared Cook appears to be his replacement as a pass catcher, so this will probably be Alge’s last year in Tennessee.
 
Nick Harper – He’ll be 35 in September, which is old for a cornerback, but Harper can probably play for a few more years. Jeff Fisher prefers his backup corners to be veterans, so Harper could stay beyond this year in that role. At the right price, of course.
 
Craig Hentrich – After considering retirement in the offseason, I fully expect him to make that decision after this season.
 
Jevon Kearse – Another guy in a situation similar to Harper’s, The Freak will be 33 years old when the season starts but he also looks like he can play for a few more years. I believe he’ll be a good candidate for a two-year contract offer during the next offseason.
 
Kevin Mawae – The oldest Titan player and a fifteen-year veteran. Earlier in his career he had a streak of ten consecutive years without missing a start but has now incurred season-ending injuries in three of the last four years. His durability is really something that concerns me and I believe this will be the final year of a great career.
 
Bo Scaife – As noted above, the tight end situation is such that Scaife is certainly replaceable and he definitely won’t be franchised again. While he’ll be given a new offer, probably in February, he’ll more than likely decline it and test the free agent market. The bar has been set much higher because of the ridiculous deal Winslow got and Mike Reinfeldt won’t offer anything close to that. I’m guessing this will be Bo’s last year wearing two-tone blue.
 
Stephen Tulloch – I believe Tulloch is on the verge of becoming a great player and that he’s someone you try to lock up with an early extension offer. Tully is one of those guys about to become a core player you build around.
 
Kyle Vanden Bosch – After offseason surgery for his torn groin, KVB should be back to top form in September. He’s another guy that should be resigned, and probably should be offered an extension before the season is over.
 
LenDale White – Another full house for the Titans is in their backfield so White is certainly replaceable. I imagine he won’t accept what Reinfeldt offers him, but that may depend to some extent on what kind of year Javon Ringer has. Like Tulloch, he may be a restricted and not an unrestricted free agent, absent a new CBA.  
 
Of that group, KVB, Tulloch and Brown are the only ones I’d even consider trying to extend this offseason. I won’t be surprised if Reinfeldt doesn’t sign any of them before the year is out but it would be nice if he does.
 
I’m sure we’ll be writing a lot more on each of those guys this offseason, probably devoting entire articles to most of them.
 
Also, there are some more Titans whose contracts will expire after this year, but none of them are starters and some of them won’t even make the team. Those players include the following:
 
Colin Allred
Ken Amato
Dave Ball
Quinton Ganther
Tuff Harris
Rafael Little
Donnie Nickey
Michael Otto
Josh Stamer
Kevin Vickerson 
 
OK, I’d like to know what you feel about giving early extensions to some of the Titans.
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6 Responses to “Reviewing some of the Titans’ free agents to be”

  1. Wes Says:

    Vickerson showed some flashes last year. I can’t imagine his price tag would be too great. I’ve been watching some of last season’s games and I think he might be a player who impresses this year – at which point he becomes a lot more expensive.

  2. Andrew Strickert Says:

    Yes, he did show something last year and he’s also a big body the Titans can use in goal line and short yeardage situations. Vickerson’s problem is a numbers game — he’s probably going to be the fifth DT with the Titans being able to keep just four of them.
    It would be nice if the roster sizes were larger so teams could keep a few extra players like Vick. Thanks for your comment, Wes.

  3. Seth Leonard Says:

    Hey guys, writing this from my first job at a newspaper over in NC.
    My thinking is that Tulloch should be pretty good as a head man for your linebacking corps.
    But not resigning LenDale? I mean he might be poised to have his best year yet. I know he’s not the greatest, but I still stand by him as a developing player that hasn’t got too many miles on him yet. I’ll reserve my judgments for later in the season when we see if Ringer is true to his name.

  4. Bob Loblaw Says:

    After this year Tony Brown will only have 5 accrued years so my presumption is that he would also be a RFA absent a new CBA. He’s been in the league since ’04, but didn’t play in ’05.
    I’d like them to keep Bulluck, but I’m not sure it will happen. He’s going to want money in the ballpark of what Ray Lewis got this year. I think the Titans would give him about $15/3yr with $10m guaranteed, but Bulluck may want more.
    Little is an exclusive rights FA, so he’s basically over a barrel.
    LenDale only comes back on a 1yr deal if he’s injured. Otherwise, he’ll find a suitor or two willing to pay him $3.5-4m/yr and the Titans won’t.
    Between Ball, Kearse and KVB, they should bring one, maybe two back. Which one(s) they resign will depend on how healthy each one stays this year. None of them will get an extension before the season, but KVB might get one midseason if he’s back to 100%.

  5. Andrew Strickert Says:

    Congratulations on the good news, Seth, and best wishes for your career.
    Thanks for your comments, guys.

  6. Kelli Says:

    I hope that they keep Jevon Kearse of course. He started here and I know he wants to end a Titan. I hope Kyle and Keith stay too. I wish the Titans could keep all of them. They are all wonderful and work great as a team. I think LenDale White will stay. Chris Johnson and him are like twins. I do believe in new blood Javon Ringer and Kenny Britt are going to help the team out in their lowest moments or close to them in the season. I think if there is a problem that Javon Ringer will step in and take the ball all the way. Kenny Britt the same way!!!! I think LenDale, Chris and Javon are going to be great together. I wish the Titans could keep the old and new blood together. This team is built around a great group of guys that are fighters…..

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