The Titans have a new coaching staff… They’ve retooled in free agency… They’ve filled holes in the NFL Draft.
So, what’s important now? (W-I-N, it’s one of the favorite things I picked up from Lou Holtz!)
As I sit and ponder the Titans future, it’s locking up Taylor Lewan (#78 on the NFL Network’s To 100) to a long-term deal.
He’s playing under the fifth year option the Titans picked up last summer and he’s due to make about $9 million bucks. That’s not bad money, but it’s peanuts compared to what he is about to make.
If the season starts without a new deal the danger is his people deciding to play it out and head to free agency where he will get PAID!!!
These are the five highest paid tackles in the league according to overthcap.com.
Giants – Nate Solder
$62 million, $15.5 million per season, $34.8 million guaranteed
Chargers – Russel Okung
$53 million, $13.25 million per season, $25 million guaranteed
Redskins – Trent Williams
$66 million, $13.2 million per season, $30 million guaranteed
Saints – Terron Armstead
$65 million, $13 million per season, $20.88 million guaranteed
Cowboys – Tyron Smith
$97.6 million, $12.2 million per season, $22.1 million guaranteed
Solder got his deal this spring in free agency and it’s great for Lewan because he’s better than Solder is, so if I’m Lewan’s agent that’s where the deal starts…. More than Solder.
Even with a hometown discount I’d be looking at a deal worth like $80 million over five seasons with at least $30 million guaranteed. If he goes to free agency he will get so much more.
Just look at the money Okung got and he is not near the player Lewan is. He’s missed one game the last three years and has made the Pro Bowl the last two.
He’s also a leader. He sets the tone for the offensive line and he’s the enforcer for Marcus Mariota. If I were his agents these are all of the things I would be laying out.
The ace in the hole is the Titans do have Jack Conklin.
If they feel he is Lewan’s equal, they could “cap” their bid, but pro bowl players just don’t grow on trees.
It’s good to have as many of them as you can and bad to let them walk in the prime of their careers.
The one’s that usually do usually have some kind of baggage that makes them expendable. I don’t see that for Lewan. Yes, he gets two or three personal fouls a year, but to me that goes with the role that he fills as the enforcer and tone setter up front. I can live with those (even though some of you can’t)
The other reason to get the deal done now is the price only goes up. Even if they feel they’re paying too much now, it would likely be more next spring.
He’s a franchise left tackle, one of the top 5-10 in the league and to me, the priority right now.