Podcast: Pick your side on Titans' injuries and David Long

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- When we look back at the Titans free-agent class of 2023, will we see a team that smartly grabbed players who didn't have full opportunity in their first chance that the team got at good prices?

In this week's edition of the podcast, I look at the five guys the team's agreed to terms with and consider just what they are getting.The Paul Kuharsky Podcast

The new episode awaits you on Apple, Spotify, Google PodcastsTuneIn and YouTube, which is below.

Whichever platform you prefer, please subscribe, rate and review.

Subjects I dive into:

💥 My strengthening feeling the team wants Andre Dillard to be its starting left tackle and how that affects what I am thinking about No. 11 in the draft
💥 Why Arden Key left the Jaguars
💥 Whether Azeez Al-Shazeer and Monty Rice can play next to each other
💥 How you need to choose between injury solutions or David Long
💥 Aaron Brewer's RFA tender as insurance against another roster hole

Please keep the feedback coming. The podcast is just the front door to PaulKuharsky.com. If you like what you hear or see here, you'd really love the rest of the site. Come join the fun.

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Nick Westbrook-Ikhine passed on Titans' offer in order to test market

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, who’s been a rotational piece in the Titans’ receiver mix for the last three seasons, stepped away from contract negotiations with the team to test the market.

Nick Westbrook-Ikhine
Nick Westbrook-Ikhine/ Tennessee Titans

The team didn’t offer him the tender of $2.627 million for 2023 as a restricted free agent (as reported by Terry McCormick) which would have given it the right to match an offer sheet from any other team.

In recent years the Titans have not been in position to tender many unrestricted free agents, as their players heading to a fourth year not under contract have not been particularly desirable. That pool has included Derick Roberson, David Quessenberry, Matt Dickerson, D’Onta Foreman, Josh Kalu, Jamil Douglas, David Fluellen and Tye Smith.

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Mike Herndon: What the Titans are getting in new left tackle Andre Dillard

By MIKE HERNDON, columnist

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The first major signing of the Ran Carthon era is reportedly going to be former Eagles tackle Andre Dillard. The 22nd pick of the 2019 NFL Draft hasn’t had the career that was envisioned for him coming out of Washington State.

Eagles pick Andre Dillard mingles with fans after he was chosen during the first round of the NFL Draft Thursday, April 25, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn.
Andre Dillard/ © George Walker IV / Tennessean.com

The book on Dillard coming out of college was that he was an elite athlete who excelled in pass protection but would likely need some work as a run blocker due to playing in Mike Leach’s Air Raid scheme for the Cougars.

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Titans lined up for speed at ILB with Azeez Al-Shaair

Azeez Al-Shaair

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – David Long was replaced within 24 hours as the Titans agreed to terms with their first Ran Carthon connection, Azeez Al-Shaair, the inside linebacker who’s been a piece of the 49ers’ strong defense.

Dianna Russini reported the agreement.

Al-Shaair will bring excellent speed to Nashville – something Mike Vrabel has emphasized he wants upgraded throughout the roster. The new inside linebacker will be 26 this season. The 6-foot-2, 228-pounder was undrafted out of Florida Atlantic in 2019. 

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The rationale for the Titans letting David Long walk, even cheaply

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans were probably surprised at just how inexpensive David Long turned out to be on the open market.

David Long
David Long/ Tennessee Titans

Multiple reports say his two-year deal with the Miami Dolphins is worth only $11 million, and I’ve not seen one that mentions how much of that is guaranteed. When that’s left out it generally doesn’t bode well for that element of the deal, though this is such a value deal that the financial details that have been shared could have come from the team rather than from agent Ryan Williams, whose client got torched when compared to his colleagues.

Even if Long plays only 11 games a season under this contract – his average over the last two seasons – it’s a heck of a price tag.

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What do the Titans project for Andre Dillard?

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The first piece of the Titans’ offensive line rebuild is a veteran left tackle in need of a career restart. Multiple reports say it’s Andre Dillard.

Andre Dillard
Andre Dillard/ Courtesy Philadelphia Eagles

Dillard was the 22nd pick in the 2019 draft. The Eagles grabbed him out of Washington State three picks after the Titans selected Jeffery Simmons, but Dillard never panned out in Philadelphia. 

He started four games as a rookie, missed his second year with a torn biceps and started five as a third-year player. Eight of those were at left tackle, with one on the right while he’s also played some guard. Jordan Mailata, a seventh-rounder from 2020, passed Dillard and took the left tackle job in 2020.

Dillard missed an additional five games in 2022 with a broken arm.

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Mailbag: Derrick Henry's value, NFLPA's team reports and a Titans' psychological shift

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Surprise! It’s the rare Monday mailbag.

Start your week off with the best questions I’ve received recently as we prepare for free agency while we wait to see how Ran Carthon starts this thing off for the Titans.

The Titans celebrate/ Courtesy Tennessee Titans

Here we go.

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Scout's take: Tennessee Titans' free agency preview

By BLAKE BEDDINGFIELD, special contributor

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Titans have made changes in their front office and on the offensive side of the ball.

They have a new general manager in Ran Carthon and a new offensive play-caller in Tim Kelly.

Tremaine Edmunds
Tremaine Edmunds/ © Jamie Germano / USA TODAY NETWORK

Carthon mentioned in his introductory press conference that the Titans are not in a rebuilding situation and felt they can stay competitive.

The Titans played in arguably the worst division in football and missed the playoffs 2022.

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