One of the great difficulties about this year’s NFL draft is not just that it occurs free agency, but that nobody knows what kind of free agency there will eventually be. The safest course of action, as espoused by Indianapolis Colts GM Bill Polian, is that you have to draft based on your roster as it stands right now, and to anticipate only minimal free agency.
With that principle in mind, I thought it would be a useful exercise to see which players the Titans currently have under contract for 2011. I’ll make this two posts, covering the offense today and the defense in my next post.
So, here’s what the Titans offense looks like as of today:
QB: Brett Ratliff, Rusty Smith
RB: Herb Donaldson, Chris Johnson, Stafon Johnson, Dominique Lindsay, Javon Ringer, Joe Tronzo
TE: Jared Cook, Riar Geer, Craig Stevens
WR: Kenny Britt, Yamon Figurs, Justin Gage, Lavelle Hawkins, Marc Mariani, Nate Washington, Damian Williams
OL: Eugene Amano, Ryan Durand, Jeff Hansen, Jake Ingram, Troy Kropog, Kevin Matthews, Michael Roos, Jake Scott, David Stewart, Fernando Velasco
Returning starters are listed in bold. Players listed in italics did not spend any of the 2010 regular season on the Titans’ 53-man roster.
More thoughts on each position, after the jump.
QB: Yes, Vince Young is technically under contract. I believe the Titans would rather start Rusty Smith or Brett Ratliff, or somebody they get from the CFL or AFL, than VY. He’s not starting in 2011. Don’t even start the discussion. Obviously, the Titans need somebody else here.
RB: No, Ahmard Hall is not under contract for 2011. I thought they might try to replace him before 2011, maybe with somebody they trusted could handle the ball on a regular basis. Fullback is a potential need.
TE: Cook and Stevens should be an acceptable duo, with the other holes filled in. The top end seems set at tight end.
WR: If Kenny Britt can stay out of trouble, the Titans should be set. If he can’t and has to sit, this position should still be better than it’s been lately.
OL: Left guard Leroy Harris is a free agent. The other four starters are under contract. I assume that they’d be comfortable going into the regular season with Velasco, Matthews, or Kropog as a potential starter if they absolutely had to, even if it possibly means moving Eugene Amano to left guard. As I think I’ve mentioned before, I ‘m very curious to see how the offensive line shakes out now that the OL coach is now the head coach. I suspect, though, it’ll look an awful lot like how the offensive line looked in 2010.
I’ll be back with a post about the defense, which is probably the more interesting side of the ball in this analysis.