5 Tennessee Titans Veterans Who Deserve To Be Cut
5 Tennessee Titans Veterans Who Deserve To Be Cut
The Tennessee Titans have been in a rebuilding process for a of couple years now. They've slowly but surely overhauled their roster by getting rid of older veterans and replacing them with younger (and often cheaper) players at many positions.
The youth movement began in earnest last year when the team officially took the quarterback job away from the old pro Matthew Hasselbeck and gave the reigns to former first round pick Jake Locker. While quarterback is the most visible position on the field, the team hasn't stopped going young there.
They have starters at wide receiver, defensive line and linebacker who have three or fewer years under their belts in the NFL. Guys like Kendall Wright, Jurell Casey and Akeem Ayers have shown the potential to be productive players.
But the after effects of all of this youth has meant that the Titans have struggled the past two years and most likely will continue to struggle this season. Sometimes you have to take a step back to start moving forward, especially in the parity driven NFL.
So, instead of trying to squeeze out another one or two wins this year, Tennessee should double down on the young guys they have on their roster and give them the playing time they need to reach their full potential.
Unfortunately for those young players to shine the Titans will need to clear their depth chart of a few veterans who would be taking away those crucial snaps, both in the games and on the practice field.
Let's take a look at the five best candidates for them to cut heading into the 2013 season.
5. Nate Washington
Nate Washington has been a serviceable receiver for the Titans for a few years now. Despite never having an elite quarterback to throw him the ball, Washington has averaged 52 catches and just under six touchdowns per year in his four seasons with Tennessee. The problem is only 46 and four of those came last year.
The Titans receiver depth chart has a couple of good young players ready to show what they have, and keeping Washington on the roster will just take away opportunities for them to get experience and develop chemistry with Jake Locker, or whoever is at QB this season.
4. Chris Spencer
Chris Spencer, a veteran interior offensive lineman slotted as a backup in Tennessee, signed a one-year deal with the Titans this offseason. He's had a solid NFL career, starting 89 games at center and both guard positions for the Seattle Seahawks and the Chicago Bears.
But you know something is wrong when the Bears don’t want you for their offensive line. After being a part of one of the worst offensive lines in the league the past couple of years, Spencer was told his services were no longer needed in the Windy City.
And really, if you're not good enough to get a spot on the Bears offensive line, you're probably not good enough for a spot anywhere.
3. George Wilson
There wasn't a whole lot of interest in the ex-Buffalo Bills defensive back George Wilson this offseason. The Titans signed him to a cap friendly contract, but with the additional signing of Bernard Pollard at his position, Wilson becomes expendable.
Safeties are one of the more expendable positions on an NFL roster, and the Titans have Pollard along with young players Al Afalava and Markelle Martin on the depth chart heading into training camp.
Tennessee won't carry four strong safeties on their final roster, and Wilson could end up being the odd man out.
2. Chris Johnson
Speaking of expendable positions on NFL rosters, running back may be the most overvalued of them all. The smart teams in the league have figured out that you shouldn’t spend a large allotment of your all important cap dollars on the position.
All you need to have a productive running game is a good offensive line, at least a decent passing game, and a back with fresh, young legs. The Titans have the hardest part to find already in the good offensive line. They're working on the passing game, it's getting there and has a bright future, and finding fresh legs has never been easier.
Running back used to be the glamor position in the NFL, but today a team handcuffs its ability to build a winning roster when they spend too much money on the position.
If the Titans want to upgrade at other positions and eventually build a winning roster, they need to cut ties with Chris Johnson and his exorbitant contract.
1. Kevin Walter
Kevin Walter was another offseason signing for the Titans this year, but they already have a crowded receiving corps.
Walter was underwhelming as a Houston Texan and has limited upside. He hasn't topped 60 catches since 2008 and scored only 10 touchdowns combined in the last three years.
He's going to be behind incumbents Nate Washington and Kenny Britt already, and the Titans would be better served giving his reps to young, talented players like Kendall Wright and Justin Hunter.