I arrived in Nashville in 2003 and since the day I have walked in the door I have heard accusations of the Titans being a “cheap” organization.
The feeling was they were not willing to spend on their players or bring in new players.
Bud Adams had his quirks with the administration of his team, but when it came to salary I just have not seen it.
Even this Spring I had several fans make the accusation they were unwilling to spend to bring in top talent. Looking at the contracts of their current roster that is nearly an impossible accusation to backup.
In free agency they just gave $36-million to Adam Humphries, $44-million to Rodger Saffold and another $23-million to Cameron Wake.
They picked up Marcus Mariota’s 5th year option at the price of $20.9-million. That is for one season!
They paid Logan Ryan $10-million a season and Malcolm Butler $12-million a season to come to the team in 2017 and 2018.
Delanie Walker was just extended with a two-year deal worth $17-million.
If that is not enough to convince you, here is the slam dunk… In the last two years the Titans have given out the biggest contracts in NFL history on the offensive line and the safety positions with Taylor Lewan getting $80-million for five years and Kevin Byard landing a five year deal worth $70.5-million Wednesday night.
Guys, I’m just here to tell you, that is a TON of money. All of those deal have come since 2017 and they total over $382-million dollars. That is not what I call penny pinching.
Titans GM Jon Robinon was asked about the cash free for all Thursday at the first day of Titans Training Camp. Robinson said it is all about winning, “I think the plan is to get as many good football players on the team as possible”. Robinson added they want to “create competition, and try to create as competitive of a 90-man roster as possible, so that the decisions when you get down to 53 are hard.”
It is Robinson’s job do get these contracts done, but it is not “his” money to give away. That money belongs to Amy Adams Strunk and the rest of the Titans ownership so ultimately the decision to spend is theirs.
“We are blessed here, I am blessed here to work for an owner and an ownership group that trusts us in the football decisions,” Robinson said, “and they certainly aren’t afraid to reward players that do things the right way, and do what we ask of them. I’m extremely blessed to work for Amy (Adams Strunk) and her family.”
In past years the Titans had as much cap space as any team in the league, it ballooned into the tens of millions of dollars. It is important to realize why though.
It is not they did not want to spend, but they drafted and developed players so poorly for several seasons they simply did not have the players worth investing second and third contracts on.
Lewan and Byard are both players they drafted and developed.
In the future they are going to be faced with more difficult questions about how much they can afford to pay with draft choices like Marcus Mariota, Derrick Henry, Jack Conklin and Jayon Brown all coming up soon.
The Titans can not pay everyone, but that is not because they are cheap. They have proven that and that narrative needs to end.