Titans stand to recoup chunk of Taylor Lewan signing bonus as a result of suspension

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Taylor Lewan’s pending four-game suspension will cost him $3,411,766 of his 2019 base salary.

But when the suspension under the NFL’s policy against performance-enhancing substances becomes official, the team will also be able to recoup a share of his signing bonus.LewanRobinson

       (Photo: Lewan and Jon Robinson after practice Friday.)

Per the NFL and NFLPA’s document outlining the policy on performance-enhancing substances: “Players who are suspended pursuant to this Policy shall be required to forfeit any applicable bonus amounts in accordance with Article 4, Section 9 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.” I outline that below.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Training camp’s start offered us some offensive-line clarity, some nice red-zone offense, some show of command by the quarterback in question.

Here’s my sketch of the Titans’ first day…

MariotaJuly19Marcus Mariota: I thought he had a rather good day. There was an early red-zone one-on-one period that was filmable. The advantage is big for the offense. I missed a good early connection with Corey Davis before I got rolling with my phone. He and Adam Humphries had a clear connection and the corner throw to Tajae Sharpe was excellent. 

Thursday, Mike Vrabel said he wants Mariota to be aggressive but not reckless and to take command of the offense. [Unlocked]

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Sorting through the Titans' odd nonchalance about supplements

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Taylor Lewan was as candid and as accountable as he could be. His goal as he faces a pending four-game NFL suspension for a violation of the policy against performance enhancers is to be transparent.LewanPEDs

He put the news out himself Wednesday as he felt reporters closing in so he could control the initial narrative and did well with it.

He will appeal but has minimal expectations that will have good results.

But the pre-camp press conference on Thursday where he spoke that also featured Mike Vrabel and Jon Robinson didn’t bring a lot of clarity to the issue or what happens from here, particularly beyond Lewan.

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Large share of former Titans believe Taylor Lewan's violation was an accident

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- One former member of the Titans whose time with the team predated Taylor Lewan came out on Twitter and forcefully said he doesn't believe the performance enhancement penalty was the result of a mistake.LewanWash

The outspoken Bernard Pollard told Lewan: "You cheated this game to get that contract. All of a sudden, what a coincidence, you faild after signing an $80 million contract. That's BS."

Lewan maintains he tested positive for osterine despite it not being listed as an ingredient in any of the supplements he took. Osterine is a modulator that helps minimize the negative effects of workouts allowing an athlete to work longer and harder.

I was struck by Pollard's comments and decided to reach out to other former Titans to as if they believed Lewan's positive test was the result of an accident or not.

I texted with seven guys who played for the Titans but were not teammates with Lewan.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – In Kevin Byard, now the NFL’s highest-paid safety, the Titans have locked up a rangy, hard-hitter and a defensive centerpiece.

The Titans look to have the core of a solid defense in place for several years.ByardIntro

With Byard (signed through 2024), Jeffery Simmons (team option through 2023), Jurrell Casey (2022), Kenny Vaccaro (2022), Malcolm Butler (2022), Rashaan Evans (team option through 2022), Adoree’ Jackson (team option through 2021) and Harold Landry (2021), the Titans have eight defensive starters in line for at least the next three seasons.

Among them, only Simmons, the 19th pick in this year’s draft, has not proven himself to be at least a promising NFL talent, though his game was almost universally well regarded coming out of Mississippi State and he lasted so long primarily because of a knee injury that will render him unavailable deep into his rookie season. [Unlocked]

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Titans desperately need Marcus Mariota healthy.

Now they have to do it in four games at the start of the season minus his best edge protector. 

With Taylor Lewan revealing he'll be suspended for the first four games of the season for a PED violation, the Titans have to scramble. Dennis Kelly can play left tackle or the Titans could move Rodger Saffold there from guard, but it will set off a domino effect that is less than ideal in every respect.

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Lewan put forth evidence in the form of a lie detector test that he did not knowingly take the forbidden substance, osterine. [Unlocked]

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The underneath passing game could fuel Arthur Smith's offense

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Amid a lot of offensive uncertainty, there is one element of what the Titans are about to build that has the potential to be super-effective, a staple they can rely on and build from.

With the addition of Adam Humphries and the return of Delanie Walker, Marcus Mariota has two primary weapons available to him who know how to regularly get open underneath and Dion Lewis should be a good option out of the backfield. A.J. Brown can be a factor in that too.HumphriesShortGame

The quarterback won’t need extended protection to find crafty players who can find space.

Humphries, a top slot receiver, was signed because the Titans were one of the least productive teams out of the slot in the NFL last season.

“I think if the quarterback and receiver have a really good connection, if you run a good route and the quarterback’s got a good pocket, and can get it out of his hands quick and on time in the right spot, I think it

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Ryan Succop is on PUP to start training camp as a result of knee surgery that followed the 2018 season that did not go as neatly as planned.

Succop had a troublesome knee cleaned up sometime after the season, but it had some swelling after the fact and did not respond the way it was expected to.SuccopTexans

Indications are the issue that prompted the surgery did not affect his kicking during the season -- he hit 26 of 30 field goals -- and that the team expects him to be fine in time for the regular-season opener Sept. 8 in Cleveland. [Unlocked]

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