Free agency begins in just a week and a half and teams have been making moves to re-sign some of their own players, and in a few cases, applying the franchise tag to them to prevent them from reaching free agency.
Among those newly franchised, whom the Titans might have been interested in, was Raiders safety Tyvon Branch. We can expect teams to continue making moves in the near future, so with that in mind I’m going to start a free agent tracker here on Total Titans for players of interest, similar to the one I did last summer.
The following players, after the jump, are the ones on my wishlist and/or that I’ll be keeping track of this time.
Defensive Ends: Mario Williams HOU, Robert Mathis IND, John Abraham ATL, Cliff Avril DET, Jeremy Mincey JAC, Michael Bennett TB (RFA)
I’ve written briefly about these DEs, and a few others here. Aaron Schatz believes the best fit for Super Mario is in Tennessee and I’d love to see it happen. The Tampa Bay Times expects the Bucs to give Bennett a second-round tender, which might not be a bad deal for the Titans.
Centers: Scott Wells GB, Nick Hardwick SD, Dan Koppen NE
I wrote about these guys in this positional analysis of the centers. I’d prefer Wells, but any of them would be an upgrade over Eugene Amano.
Guards: Carl Nicks NO, Evan Mathis PHI, Ben Grubbs BAL
Paul Kuharsky thinks the Titans should sign Mathis (he also likes DE Robert Mathis for the Titans.) I’d be happy with any of those three guards.
Safeties: Reggie Nelson CIN, Dwight Lowery JAC, Haruki Nakamura BAL
Jim Wyatt wrote that he had heard the names of Nelson and Nakamura as being of interest to the Titans. Nakamura has been a backup, so I doubt if anyone outside the Ratbirds organization knows much about his ability as a safety. He is regarded as a very good special teams player. Lowery is a former corner converted to free safety, where he seemed to be better. The stock of all three of these safeties has gone up since Branch and Dashon Goldson were franchised but I’m not excited about any of those guys. Perhaps the best thing for the Titans would be to get a good defensive end and interior lineman in free agency and then use the #20 pick on Mark Barron.
Defensive Tackles: Brodrick Bunkley DEN, Red Bryant SEA, Aubrayo Franklin NO
Bunkley is regarded as a great run-stuffer but not as a good pass-rusher. That shouldn’t be much of a concern if he rotates in and out with Karl Klug, who’s just the opposite. The 323-pound Bryant has played both DT and DE and could also be looked at by some teams as a 3-4 DE. Franklin has also played in both a 3-4 and 4-3. The Saints have a lot of players to re-sign (Drew Brees, Carl Nicks, Marques Colston, Robert Meachem, Shaun Rogers, Tracy Porter) so Franklin may be one they can’t keep.
I’d like to try to keep this list from getting too long, but if there are any changes/additions you’d like to see, please feel free to comment with your suggestions. I’ll have a free agent tracker chart posted in a day or two which you’ll be able to use for quick reference.