NASHVILLE – Hope everyone had a great President's Day weekend.
We're now halfway through February and closing in the on the NFL Combine – I leave next Monday for Indianapolis.
There's still a lot to sort through in Titan Land, and general manager Jon Robinson and head coach Mike Vrabel will meet with reporters next week to discuss it.
For now, let's jump into another Titans mailbag…
Tony Malgiero from El Paso, Texas
Question: I think the best approach to free agency for the team is to be aggressive in trying to sign Derrick Henry, franchise Ryan Tannehill, and attempt to bring back Jack Conklin and Logan Ryan to long term deals. In that order of importance. In order to do this, and go after a few key pieces in few agency like a pass rusher, it seems the team would need to create some more cap space. How much space would the team create if it released Dion Lewis, Delanie Walker, and Cameron Wake?
Jim: Hey Tony. I think you're in the majority with your wants. How it happens, and if it happens, is TBD. As for needing to create more cap space, a lot hinges on whether the team is able to work out extensions with some players, whether the tag/tags will be used, etc. As far as releasing players, those will be business decisions, based on economics, each player's value to the team, the possibility of upgrades in the draft/free agency, etc. I'll let some others do the math on how much cap space could be created. Keep in mind there's other ways to do it, like restructuring contracts …
Kevin House from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: I know the Titans were one game away from the Super Bowl but they lacked so much offensively they couldn't hang with Kansas City! What are the chances they make a play at a big-name receiver to complement A.J. Brown?
Jim: Hey Kevin. Do the Titans need to keep getting better? Yes. Did they need a better offensive performance in the AFC Championship Game? Yes. But the Titans had plenty of firepower to beat the Chiefs 35-32 in Nashville in November, and they had enough firepower to score 31 points or more six times in 2019. If Derrick Henry is back, I don't think it's an offense that lacks punch, or quality receivers. I like Corey Davis opposite A.J., and I like Adam Humphries in the slot. I do think the team can continue to add weapons on offense. But I don't look at the receiver position as a glaring need for 2020.
Robert Thomas from Chattanooga, Tennessee
Question: IF Marcus Mariota wanted to stay as a back-up quarterback for next season, is there any reason why the owner would not be willing to keep him? If he goes to another team and does not become the starting quarterback but instead is a back-up then why not let him stay with the Titans as a back-up? While it is generally agreed Ryan took over when the team was at 2/4, what people forget is this: the game against Indianapolis Colts was lost by a FAILED FIELD GOAL and the game against the Bills was lost by FOUR MISSED field goals. If those two games had not been lost by the kicker then Marcus's record would have been 4/2 at the time Tannehill took over as qb and not 2/4.
Jim: Hey Robert. So here's my question to you: Why would Marcus want to stay, and be a back-up? He's a competitor, and he's going to want to compete for a starting spot. And believe me: No one has forgotten how bad the field goal kicking was, and how stagnant the offense was with Marcus the first six games at QB either.
David Crank from Fort Mohave, Arizona
Question: Hi Jim I Miss football already. I will make this quick was wondering if we're not able to lockdown Tannehill do you think it would be a cheaper choice to try to go after Taysom Hill I know he's not a proven full-time quarterback but neither was Tannehill until he was put in the right situation. I personally am a fan of both quarterbacks. I am really excited for this upcoming season living in Arizona close to Las Vegas going to try to go to the draft this year hope we can get a shutdown cornerback feel like that's what our team is missing to go with Logan Ryan and Adoree Jackson hopefully we can keep Ryan around as well thanks for taking our questions and dealing with our backseat driving.
Jim: Hey David. I admit it: I don't get the infatuation with Taysom Hill. You're willing to turn the offense over to a guy who has completed 6-of-13 passes for 119 yards, with zero touchdowns and one interception in his NFL career? I get the guy has shown flashes, and he's a tough guy, but I'm not there.
Reuben Alvear from San Francisco, California
Question: Hey Jim. No questions here, just musings. This playoff season it annoyed me that some NFL analysts/commentators called TEN a "Cinderella Team." In my opinion, such a team would have won between two and four games for several years before making a deep, magical playoff run. Yet, TEN has had four straight winning seasons, beating some very good teams in each of those seasons. And since the 2017 season TEN has three playoff victories. The 2019 playoff run was the ride I'd awaited the past four years. I knew the Titans had it in them.
Also, I'm baffled that some NFL analysts seem to believe that 2019 was the only good year that Ryan Tannehill has ever had in his eight seasons as an NFL quarterback. Regarding RT's 2019 season Kurt Warner said, 'Ok, you've got this body of work, but have only shown me this one year.' I beg to differ. Instead, I agree with Houston WR Kenny Stills, who played with RT in Miami. Stills said something akin to: 'If you can't appreciate what Ryan did in Miami, then I guess you don't respect the game of football.' Amen.
Jim: Appreciate it, Reuben.
Wynn Whitfield from Lake Country, British Columbia
Question: Hi Jim Greeting from the Great White North. I read your comment that there was a question at the offensive tackle position. I personally think Lewan and Conklin are one of the best duos in the league if not the best. Signing Jack should be a priority. Many Titan fans here in the Okanagan Valley. Titan Up No Bad Days
Jim: Hey Wynn. I don't disagree with this.
Have a great week everyone!