The Titans weren't done with roster moves on Friday after signing Wesley Woodyard. In two moves that were somewhere between not surprising and almost completely inevitable, the Titans released quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and signed free agent right tackle Michael Oher, formerly of the Baltimore Ravens, to a four-year deal.
Fitzpatrick's released was pretty much inevitable after yesterday's Charlie Whitehurst signing, in my opinion. With a roster bonus that I understand to have been due tomorrow, the timing was pretty much guaranteed as well. Fitzpatrick had a very Fitzpatrick-like season for the Titans. I won't rehash my take on the switcheroo from the Whitehurst post or my broader thoughts on Fitzpatrick from the QB positional analysis, but will instead wish him the best going forward. He'll be on another team in 2014, unless he decides he's done playing (very unlikely).
With the release and likely forthcoming retirement of David Stewart, the Titans were in need of a right tackle. Oher was a name they were commonly linked to. In part, that seemed because Oher was famous (that whole Blind Side bit). He is also a native Tennessean who played his college ball at Ole Miss, alma mater of Titans GM Ruston Webster, is best suited at right tackle, and turning 28 in May was one of the potential long-term answers at right tackle on the free agent market.
As to Oher the player, I described him in my free agent OT preview as "He's famous, just not very good." While he has perfectly good size at 6'4, 315 pounds, he does not always use that bulk to create good running lanes for the back. Ironically for all the Blind Side fame, he also does not handle speed rushers well. He has played both left tackle and right tackle for the Ravens, but made the switch to right tackle primarily because of his difficulties handling that outside move. It's still an issue on the right side, but only against the right foe instead of on a weekly basis. With Adam Schefter indicating the deal is for four years, $20 million, with $9.5 million guaranteed, you can write his name in pen in the starting lineup at right tackle. It will be up to offensive line coach Bob Bostad to get him to be a more consistently effective run blocker and to handle those speed rushers better. So, good luck with that.