Are the Titans really serious about upgrading at center?

Titans GM Ruston Webster claimed the competition for the starting job at center will be “wide open”.  The so-called “competition” for Eugene Amano’s job will consist of three undrafted free agents: veteran backups Fernando Velasco and Kevin Matthews, and rookie William Vlachos.

That doesn’t sound like much competition to me.

This coming after the Titans neglected to draft a center and gave no more than a half-hearted effort to sign the free agent centers who visited in March and April.  If the four free agents signed with the teams which gave them the best offers, which is the norm, then the Titans didn’t offer them a whole lot.

This is what those four signed for, following the jump.

Chris Myers – four years, $25M with 14M guaranteed
Scott Wells – four years, $24M, which could reach 25.5M with incentives
Jeff Saturday – two years, $7.75M
Dan Koppen – two years, $3.05M with another possible 2M in incentives

Amano is due $11.055M in base salaries over the next three years.  The Titans could have signed Koppen for a lot less than they’re going to have to pay Amano.  For only an additional 14M they could have signed Wells or Myers, upgrades which would have cost only 3.5M per year.

Perhaps Myers and Koppen were only using the Titans to get a better offer from their previous teams, which they did re-sign with.

On the other hand, Wells certainly wasn’t going back to Green Bay and it seemed like Tennessee would have been a natural spot for a man who is from the Nashville area.  Wells had said he’d like to finish his career here and I imagine he would have even signed with the Titans for less than he did with the Rams if the offers were reasonably close.

Apparently, the Titans didn’t make him an offer that was even close.

Regular readers of Total Titans know that I was in favor of Wells or Koppen and I certainly wouldn’t have minded Myers either.

So the Titans host four veteran free agent starting centers and don’t make an offer high enough to sign any of them, they neglect to select a center in the draft, and they then announce that two backups and a rookie, all UDFAs, will “compete” with Amano for the job.  That doesn’t sound to me like the Titans are very serious about upgrading the position.

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