Tennessee Titans Free Agency 2013: Day 1 Recap
Tennessee Titans Free Agency 2013 Recap: Day 1 Winners
Tennessee Titans enthusiasts aren’t accustomed to seeing their team take an aggressive approach toward free agency, especially during Day 1. Former Titans general manager Mike Reinfeldt used to exude most of his energy toward developing young players through the draft. Every now and then, Reinfeldt would add a low or mid-tier free agent to the roster.
Current general manager Ruston Webster has wasted no time in trying to shape this roster in his vision. Within the first couple of hours, the Titans had reportedly reached agreements with two free agents. They scheduled a visit with another player who will provide important depth and rotational play on the defensive line.
Maybe Webster has no other choice but to spend money during an offseason that preludes a 2013-14 NFL season that’s playoffs—or else. At age 90, owner Bud Adams doesn’t have much time to witness a Super Bowl for a franchise that he has owned since 1960. In their sole Super Bowl appearance, Kevin Dyson came within one yard of sending Super Bowl XXXIV into overtime or a two-point conversion attempt.
Not only did the Titans improve their roster, they gave themselves much more flexibility with their 10th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. Had they not signed an offensive guard, they would’ve had to use that pick on either Chance Warmack or Jonathan Cooper, no questions asked. Now they can consider other options, although adding one of those rookies could give them a top-five offensive line.
This slideshow is a brief recap on the major happenings on the first day of free agency (Mar. 12). This also includes some major news that came out before the 3 p.m. CT starting time. How will these decisions affect the team during the 2013-14 season?
OG Steve Hutchinson Retires
Earlier in the day, Steve Hutchinson announced his plans to retire. The 35-year-old offensive guard spent one season with the Titans. He played in 12 games before he suffered a season-ending knee injury
OG Andy Levitre Agrees to 6-Year, $46.8 Million Contract
Within an hour of free agency, the Titans locked up their No. 1 target. Andy Levitre agreed to a six-year, $46.8 million contract. Levitre will play a key role in protecting Jake Locker from Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt.
TE Jared Cook Signs with St. Louis Rams
Former Titans head coach Jeff Fisher will reacquaint himself with Jared Cook, who reached a five-year deal with the St. Louis Rams. The Titans let Cook walk after he threatened to argue that he was a wide receiver, which would’ve increased his franchise-tag price nearly $4.5 million.
TE Delanie Walker Agrees to 4-Year, $17.5 Million Contract
What can a franchise purchase with approximately half of Cook’s contract? How about a more-complete tight end who’s a better blocker and an athletic weapon in the passing game—if he can catch the football. Delanie Walker will join Craig Stevens and Taylor Thompson after he agreed to a four-year, $17.5 million contract.
WR Nate Washington Linked to Trade Rumors
NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah tweeted that the Titans were shopping Nate Washington. The Titans are reportedly looking into replacing him with a faster slot receiver, e.g. Danny Amendola.
DT Sammie Hill Scheduled for Mar. 13 Visit (Wednesday)
On Mar. 13, the Titans are scheduled to visit with 329-pound defensive tackle Sammie Hill. As a member of the Detroit Lions, Hill was stuck in a rotation of defensive tackles that included Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley. With the likely departure of Sen’Derrick Marks, the Titans could use a bigger body in their interior defensive line.
Plenty of voids remain on this roster. From Day 2 of free agency up through the draft, look for the Titans to address deficiencies on both sides of the football. Among the top concerns are No. 2 running back, starting offensive guard, trench depth and linebacker depth. A wide receiver isn’t out of the question.