NASHVILLE – Well, we’re now just days until the start of the NFL’s free agency period.
And we’re also less than 50 days until the NFL Draft in Nashville.
So there’s a lot going on.
Including the latest Titans mailbag. Let’s go…
Jacob McCluskey from Huntsville, Alabama
Question: Hey Jim, Antonio Brown would be an excellent addition to any football team, but I think every knowledgeable mind can see that trading for him is a risk that should not be taken. Skill and talent is important and this team and especially Marcus deserves talented wide receivers, but not at the expense of trading for Brown. My question to you is assuming that the Titans stay away from Brown, who is a veteran receiver that can bring talent and leadership to this football team? People seem to love Golden Tate, as would I, but for a weaker free agent class for receivers even the marginally average receivers will probably demand top dollars. Dishing out high end money to Tate or Tyrell Williams would be a dangerous move, as the Titans need to be smart with their money and address multiple facets of the team. What is your view on Chris Hogan? He is a veteran wide receiver who would be a former Patriot and always seems to be a consistent route runner with a team first attitude. He is by no means an Antonio Brown or even Golden Tate type player, but he would be cheaper and not distract attention away from guys like Corey, Tajae, and Taywan. Also, a guy like Jamison Crowder intrigues me. What are your thought on him? He's still young and could bring in some much needed talent and experience into our wide receiver room. TITAN UP!!!!
Jim: Appreciate you taking the time, Jacob. It’s been interesting seeing the split on AB. Some have been all-in on the possibility, while others have hated the idea from the start. Probably the way it’s gone with teams. I’m intrigued by some of your suggestions. I have to be a little careful when discussing potential free agents because I don’t want to get the club in trouble for tampering, or speaking out of school. I'm sure the commissioner reads the mailbag each week. :) I do like some of the guys you mentioned, and I think the team needs a veteran in the mix at receiver. He’d help the young guys, as long as he’s the right personality. We’ll find out soon where things go – Wednesday is go time in free agency.
Trevor Christianson from Midvale, Utah
Question: Been a Titans fan since I was 4 and living in Hawaii and I saw Steve McNair and the Titans play the Rams in the Super Bowl and he has been my favorite player of all time. I also lived in Oregon so I've been a Ducks fan since before Mariota played there. Anyways, I have a couple questions, any update on Delanie Walker? I haven't heard anything about him in a while. Also, any update on Logan Ryan, Mariota, Jurrell Casey, Jonnu Smith, Jack Conklin etc.? Do you know who might and might not be ready for OTAs? Also I lived in Indiana for two years and my favorite restaurants in downtown Indianapolis were Fogo de Chao and Weber Grill, did you get to try any good restaurants there, like St. Elmos?
Jim: Hey Trevor. Delanie continues to make progress in his rehab. I haven’t talked to him in several weeks, but I understand he’s doing well. The offseason program is set to begin on April 15, so we’ll see where he is then. All those other guys are progressing as well. I actually hit Weber Grill when I was in Indy – ate a burger at the bar with ESPN’s Turron Davenport and some of his buddies. I hit Harry & Izzy’s one night, PF Chang’s on another, and grabbed some pizza another night. Plus, a take-out night. I couldn't make my dinner invite from coach Dave McGinnis, now a wizard with Titans Radio, and a big crew at St. Elmo because I was tied up in player interviews and stories. Next time. It’s a great spot!
James Anderson from New York, New York
Question: We’ve got a lot of holes to fill before we are ready to compete for a Super Bowl. Every year we pass over the superstar prima donna wideout or the overpriced veteran that’s worth every penny on his next team. Are the Titans going to go for ANY of the big name Free agents this year?
Jim: Hey James. The team went after some big-time free agents last year – cornerback Malcolm Butler and Dion Lewis right out of the gate. Once again, I expect the GM to pick his spots, and to see what the market is on guys. And if you’re calling them “overpriced” veterans, then that’s probably why some of them haven’t been signed by the team. I think we’ve all seen enough free agent history around the league to know the guys who get thrown the most money on Day 1 don’t always pan out.
Braulio Cardenas Cantu from Saltillo, México
Question: Hola Jim!! Greetings from Saltillo! Thank you again, Jim, for your dedication and professionalism to keep us informed about our beloved team. Last season was very noticeable the change in Derrick Henry’s performance, and I remember shortly before that incredible change he had a good talk with Eddie George. Seems it was the point of change in his mentality and attitude. I believe in Marcus Mariota, his potential is evident!!. The sky is the limit for him. He is a TRUE leader. I understand that there are many factors that have impeded their evolution (changes in coaches, OL, young receivers, etc.), but it seems that since the fracture in his leg, he still needs to fully regain his confidence. Do you know if he has someone to advise and help him find his mojo, just like Eddie George did in Henry's case.
Jim: Hola Braulio! It’s a fair question. But what Eddie George was able to hammer home with Derrick was more about his mindset on the field. It was kind of a wake-up call for him, so to speak. And Henry was able to apply it on the field. With Marcus, his biggest task is to stay healthy, and as a quarterback, I’m not sure he needs a “pep talk.” That’s just my take. Gracias por la pregunta!
Dermot Carroll from County Fermanagh, Ireland
Question: Hi Jim. I spent the summer in Nashville back in 1999 and have been a long distance fan ever since! It's my favourite place ever, by the way... So, for all my Titans / NFL news, I am at the mercy of podcasts, sky sports UK & general online content. Over here, the Titan's rarely get a mention so I suppose my question is two-fold: Why do the Titans get so little air time? And secondly, how many players do you reckon we need to make waves in the playoffs (and in what positions...?) I hope to make it back to Nashville soon so see you at the tailgate! Dermot.
Jim: Hello Dermot. OK, we’re starting to span the globe here! Well, I’m going to spare you the “small market” team excuse. Teams earn extra air time by winning, and while the franchise has won nine games in each of the past three seasons, it’s only won once in January since the 2004 season. That needs to change. As for players needed, well, there will be a pretty good turnover on the roster with free agency, the draft, and some additions on free agency. So what the team needs is for its current players to stay healthy, and keep improving, while getting a good boost from the newcomers.
Gerald Cooper from Louisville, Kentucky
Question: Hey Jim. Titans Superfan of 16 years now. I have a pretty uncommon question (judging from past mailbags lol). With the rules changing in the NFL to more protect the quarterbacks causing more teams to have high powered offenses, and the news that Nick Foles is going to Jacksonville, in your opinion, do you think it would benefit the Titans more to go OG and WR in the first 2 rounds of the draft instead of DL in order to keep up with the other offenses in our division? Thanks in advance Jim.
Jim: Hey Gerald. I’ve said this before, and I’m sticking with it: I need to see what happens in free agency first before deciding best options in the draft. The reason I say this is because if the team, for example, signs a veteran guard or edge rusher in free agency, that’s going to change the outlook on the draft in my opinion. If certain positions don’t get addressed in free agency, then they probably become more a draft possibility. Hit me back in a few weeks on this one…
Caesar Noriega from Carterville, Illinois
Question: Hey, How are you today? We all know Nashville is hosting this year’s NFL Draft. If all goes well, will it put Nashville on a spot to host a future Super Bowl?
Jim: Hey Caesar. I’m skeptical. But I’ll say this: A few years ago, I never thought the city would be hosting an NFL Draft.
Jimmy Dee from Battle Ground, Washington
Question: I sure hope the Titans don't waste draft capital or cap space on AB. The guy will be over 30 this season, we could be sorely disappointed if he doesn't play well since his greatness could be party due to him having Big Ben for a QB, He's a cancer in the locker room and just recently I heard him talking about how any new team he goes to needs to play by his rules and he doesn't really need football. He also indicated that he could quit a team in an instant. He up and quit playing on his team last year even though he didn't retire from the team. That guy cannot be counted on. If we sign AB and he ups and quits a lot of fans will blame the team staff for signing him in the first place.
Jim: Hey Jimmy Dee. Thanks for sharing your opinion. The soap opera continues …
Gene Robertson from Saluda, South Carolina
Question: Morning Jim. I have been reading your mail for about 2 years now, and i strongly believe in Mariota, and Corey Davis, Taywan Taylor, Sharpe, all them guys. I believe what it boils down to is the interior line! Go for the top pass blocking FA, and draft Clellin Ferrell or my favorite player coming into the draft THE "Christian Wilkins", he has so much passion for the game and go back and look at the tape, you'll want a guy like that on the defense to motivate the guys up on offense like he did for Clemson last year. Not saying the bc i'm a HUGE Clemson fan, but he brings energy to a team i've never seen before, and he can play offense too, man oh man put him in a FB with derrick henry behind him in the i-form at the goal line....shall i say anymore...lol anyway i think we need strong interior lineman and defensive lineman and i think either one of those two are the best available when it is our pick, no saying pick them but let Jim know if you want a passionate player who loves the game and just wants to win either one those two are your guys! Thanks for your time!
Shout out to Kevin Byard My favorite player, i'm coming to see you in Charlotte next year, hope i get autograph from you bro, keep grinding your be best safety in league!
Jim: Appreciate the passion and for taking the time, Gene.
Eli Decko from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Question: Hey Jim. I am familiar with what AB brings. He's as polar as the weather here in Pittsburgh. With the combine coming this week and no Hollywood Brown, are there any receivers you're excited, like truly excited about seeing? I'm mostly excited to see the Defensive Lineman from Clemson. All of them. They would have 2 really good pros to learn from in Jones and Casey if they came to Tennessee. Your thaughts? I'm also a huge fan of Morgan, do you think he comes back on a discount or does he go? I think if he goes we should pursue a top OLB to keep it consistent and to help "Honor Landry" develop. As well and Finch and Correa, who were both really good when on the field. As I'm writing this email my wife comes in the room and asks what I'm doing, I respond with "writing Jim". She says "Who, WYATT?" Looks like you're officially a household name.
Jim: Hey Eli. I’m intrigued by some guys in free agency, I can’t lie. And some of these young WRs at the combine impressed me, including Hollywood. I was really impressed with d-lineman Christian Wilkins from Clemson, as I mentioned in the Tuesday mailbag. As for Morgan, I talked to him at the Super Bowl and he made it clear he’s going to check his options. I’ll be surprised if he comes back. In closing, don’t let me get you in trouble with your wife! Better get back to that Honey-Do list!
Edward Chow from Biloxi, Mississippi
Question: Hello Jim :). Huuuuge Titans fan here. I hate to join the bandwagon of spectators, but i have to ask: I’ve seen a few expert mocks of the Titans drafting Jachai Polite and/or Brian burns in Rd1. These guys are 3rd round talents, 2nd round at best. Have you heard any buzz about this personally, and do you have any thoughts on these players?
Jim: Hey Edward. I’m intrigued by Burns myself. As for Polite, he didn’t help himself at the NFL Combine. Still, NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah, a well-respected draft analyst, has both of these guys rated as either first or second round guys, so they’re going to go relatively early.
Andrew Cripps from Florence, Alabama
Question: Ciao Jim, faithful Titans fan here since 2001. Jim I really admire your tolerance of some of these so called “fans” with their criticism of MM8, from what i saw the second half of the season we have A LOT to look forward to if we can get a good offense guard this offseason. Which brings me to my question: There seems to be some divide in the fan base as to what we should get in the first round between grabbing an OG or EDGE/NT. With the new NFL rules (and more foreseen in the future) to protect the quarterbacks, along with so many high-powered offenses around the league, do you think it would be wiser to draft a OG in the first round instead of a defensive player? We can’t get anywhere without MM8, regardless of how good of an NT or EDGE rusher we pick up.
Jim: Hey Andrew. Hate to be redundant here, but as I mentioned to Gerald, I need to see what happens in free agency first. I’ve said all offseason I think the biggest needs are at receiver, edge rusher, interior o-line, d-line and some depth at other spots. But after free agency, some of these positions might not be as needy. The coming week should provide some pretty big clues…
Have a great weekend everyone!