Annual message: Don't freak if the Titans don't break the bank for free agents

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The loud segment of Titans fans that is preset to bemoan a lack of spending in free agency is already at full social-media volume.

It’s my favorite thing!

I said on The Midday 180 in Tuesday that it’s a big disappointment to me that as a prominent voice covering the team I’ve failed to educate or influence enough people on the subject.

Sure, the Jaguars crushed it in 2017, layering A.J. Bouye, Calais Campbell and Barry Church into their team that finally broke through and advanced to the AFC Championship Game.

But why should that now be the standard?

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My free-agent plan for the Tennessee Titans

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Any underground, deep background conversations can move into the light today, as NFL teams are allowed to start courting free agents.

Wednesday, free agency officially opens at 3 p.m. CT and Jon Robinson will begin to shop, this time for Mike Vrabel, Dean Pees and Matt LaFleur.

Fans who are big-name hunters may well be disappointed, as per usual.

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The Titans have roughly $63 million in cap room and many fans will insist the team is failing if it does not pour gold doubloons into the pockets of Andrew Norwell or Malcolm Butler.

Maybe they take a big swing, where Sammy Watkins and Allen Robinson could be attractive to a team lacking proven wideouts that will be playing far more three-wide receiver formations.

But I won’t have a big beef with the Titans if they are budget shoppers again.

Robinson’s free-agent batting average is hardly great, but his best finds have been reasonable values: Logan Ryan and Rishard Matthews are the headliners.

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Pickers mailbag: Free agency is not akin to college recruiting

pickers vodka 847x63NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Congratulations on making it through the darkness.

Sunday there will be extended light.

I do not want to hear a single complaint about a lost hour of sleep donated to springing ahead. Springing ahead is amazing. The payoff is huge.

I hope you didn’t miss our Periscope on Friday, but in case you did, here it is.

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Send questions for this popular weekly file to @PaulKuharskyNFL on Twitter or through the member Facebook page. (Keyword there, member.)

In your mind how similar is free agency to college recruiting and will Vrabel be able to influence a player’s decision as much considering the moneyaspect? #PKMail

— The General (@mac9nj) March 9, 2018

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I don't think the Titans are really that interested in Richard Sherman

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – We now know, according to ESPN, that free-agent cornerback Richard Sherman ranks the Titans as an interested team.

What we don’t know is the degree of interest, and how that compares to the interest level of the 49ers, who Sherman is visiting already, as well as the Lions, Raiders, Texans, Buccaneers and Packers.

LewanShermanSEAESPN’s Josina Anderson reported Sherman saying those are franchises he has heard from.

As he recovers from Achilles repair, he said he wants to be with a contender. Every one of those teams can sell themselves as one, with the Bucs having the hardest case to make.

Money will certainly play a role – it always does.

But I’ve gone too long here letting those of you who are big-name hunters get excited.

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YAZOO PODCAST: My approach for the Titans with free-agent WRs

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Should the Titans chase Sammy Watkins or Allen Robinson?

These are the sorts of questions you can learn the answer to in the most recent edition of The Paul Kuharsky Podcast. Madison Blevins rejoins me for a very special edition, out first without new sponsor: Yazoo Brewing Company, a Nashville original since 2003. I'm partial to the Hefeweizen.

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Part 1, like podcast versions of my public Periscope and Facebook Lives, is available through iTunes, here, or directly through the Vokal website, here. Feel free to hook us up with a rating and review on iTunes. We always welcome your feedback.

If you're a member of the site, Part 1 and Part 2 are together, and all you have to do is head below the line.

Other topics: DeMarco Murray's pending release, Mike Vrabel's hands-on participation at Alabama's pro day, free agents the Titans should consider, and a couple draft prospects I'm really curious about.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans have told DeMarco Murray he will be released, and a team that spent a 2016 second-round pick on Derrick Henry is ready to move forward at running back.

Murray brought the team the sort of intensity that had often been missing during the Ken Whisenhunt regime and his work in 2016 shouldn’t be forgotten.

Murray was Jon Robinson’s first big move. He swapped fourth-round picks with Philadelphia as the Eagles undid a free-agent signing that did not work for Chip Kelly. And to bring Murray to Tennessee Robinson got him to agree to a re-worked contract.

The running back helped the Titans re-establish themselves with 293 carries for 1,287 yards and six touchdowns. He also caught 44 passes for another 322 yards and an additional score.

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He was a reliable third-down player, good running routes and effective at keeping blitzers off of Marcus Mariota.

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Ohio State's Sam Hubbard: 'Reminds you of a young Mike Vrabel'

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – No position is of bigger need for the Titans heading into 2018 as edge pass rusher.

Their depth is lacking and their two incumbent starters, Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan, are getting older and heading into the last year of their deals.

We will look at a lot of guys at the spot, but as I discussed one of them -- Ohio State's Sam Hubbard --  with a scout, he gave me a comparison that I couldn’t wait to discuss.hubbard Sam OSU17PSU jq 20

“Good player, smart guy, very tough,” he told me. “Average athlete. But makes plays. Reminds you of a young Mike Vrabel.”

It’s clear how much Jon Robinson liked Vrabel’s playing style and leadership. It’s clear how much Vrabel prided himself on using his smart to help him be a playmaker.

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Why bad predictions shouldn't be lumped in with bad reporting, bad takes and bad jokes

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Like most writers/reporters/analysts who closely follow a team, I have certain insight into the Titans.

It doesn’t make me good at predicting things about them, because, as I say, again and again, the single biggest attraction the NFL has is its unpredictability.

The desire fans have for predictions is strong, but it’s not as strong as the urge to bash people for missing on predictions.

IMG 7051Sometimes I have a strong feeling about whether they will win or lose the upcoming game. But I don't know who's going to win on a given Sunday. Such fortune-telling better coming from Vegas guys, who advise you on which way to bet, as it's their job.

For a writer/reporter/analyst/columnist, the job is to find out new information, to tell you what new information means when it surfaces and to craft opinions based on information and what we see and hear.

When I recently wrote about how NFL reporters seem wary of saying they were wrong, I saw, again, how people mix things up. A news report that is wrong is a far different than a game prediction that is wrong.

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