The Business Side of Things

As everybody probably knows by now, Bud Adams exercised the option to retain Jeff Fisher for 2007. The option calls for Fisher to be paid the average of the top-five highest paid coaches in the league, thought to be worth about $8 million a year. The Titans are also pursuing contract talks with Fisher’s agent for a long-term deal.
Offensive coordinator Norm Chow’s option for next year was also exercised by the team. In a related note, the Titans also gave the Arizona Cardinals permission to talk to Chow about their head coaching vacancy. It’s good to see an organization that doesn’t stand in the way of someone getting a promotion. Not that there aren’t ways around it.
Chow was a candidate earlier this year for the HC jobs at NC State, Arizona State, and Stanford, none of which appeared to be too serious. I have to speculate the main reason he’s being given consideration by the Cardinals is because of his relationship with Matt Leinart. For selfish reasons, I’d like to see Chow back here this year, but would completely understand him leaving for a better opportunity, if offered.
No word yet on GM Floyd Reese or DC Jim Schwartz.
Fisher has been overly loyal, to a fault, to his assistants in years past. After letting George Henshaw go last year, however, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Fisher let Schwartz go too. If so, he’ll probably let Schwartz know before the Senior Bowl, which is like a coaches’ convention. That’s where everybody networks, resumes are passed around, and jobs are discussed and offered, as in Henshaw’s case last year.
A lot of Titans players wore the two-tone blue for the last time on Sunday. Here’s the list of Titans who are becoming free agents. Some will be back, some won’t.
Amano, Eugene C RFA
Bell, Jacob OG RFA
Bennett, Drew WR UFA
Bockwoldt, Colby LB RFA
Brown, Chris RB UFA
Brown, Tony DT ERFA
Collins, Kerry QB UFA
Cramer, Casey TE RFA
Geisinger, Justin C ERFA
Hartsock, Ben TE RFA
Long, Rien DT UFA
Nande, Terna LB ERFA
Nickey, Donnie S UFA
Reynolds, Robert LB RFA
Sirmon, Peter LB UFA
Smith, Robaire DT UFA
Starks, Randy DT RFA
Wade, Bobby WR UFA
I’d like to see the following guys off that list resigned: Amano, Bell, Bennett, Tony Brown, Cramer, Hartsock, Long, Sirmon, Smith, Starks, and Wade. Maybes to Collins, Nande, and Nickey.
Bell, Bennett, and Smith are starters; the others will be good backups and/or special teams players.
More on all of that later, as I address players in positional analyses.
For definitions of the different types of free agents, here’s a good link.
Reese has been saying the Titans will have $41 million in cap room available this year. The official number is $36M, which means that Reese is counting on saving $5M somewhere.
That’s probably from restructuring the contracts of Albert Haynesworth and Travis Henry. Big Al’s contract balloons to a $5.5M base, while the Cheese has an $8.3M roster bonus. Reese would likely want to convert that money into signing bonuses for extensions, spreading the cap hit out for several years.

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