NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans' pass-rush upgrade begins not on the edge but on the defensive line with the addition of Denico Autry of the Colts, per Ian Rapoport.

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Courtesy Indianapolis Colts

The line has been an understated position of need given the Titans’ major issues on the edge and at receiver as well as at corner.

But the pass rush has gotten little from linemen.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The first of the Titans’ big pool of free agents to leave was, in my estimation, the most important.

Jonnu Smith is the most significant of the crop in terms of his importance to the team’s identity. The Titans talk about tough, physical, team-first guys, and he’s been that for them through his four seasons.

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Those who think he’ll be easily replaced put too much weight into receiving numbers, which weren’t huge, though he had eight TDs last season, and underrate his versatility. And when he did catch the ball he could run people over or run away from them, a nightmare matchup at times. [Unlocked]

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Our two-month non-compete is over and Jonathan Hutton, Chad Withrow and I are back in the broadcast business.

OutKick 360 logoTag Horiz

We introduce ourselves in an initial podcast that's already up on Spotify and will land shortly on other platforms.

Please subscribe and rate as you head to Apple, Spotify, or Stitcher. Today's show will be there for you not long after we wrap. I will turn these links live as they come online.

As for today's show live... [Unlocked, of course]

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- This post was initially going to be about how the biggest question regarding the Titans' potential to restructure a big contract or two could be just how liquid ownership is.AmyAdamStrunk2019b

After all, a standard restructure of Ryan Tannehill, dropping his base salary from $24.5 million to the minimum of $1.075 million while converting the remainder to signing bonus could save the Titans $20.617 in 2021 salary cap dollars, a real windfall.

I wondered if Amy Adams Strunk and the Titans were in position to write such a check after she and he ownership partners just bought out her sister's third of the team and endured the revenue drop-off that came as a result of the Covid-19 changes to the NFL.

Just how liquid are the Titans right now?

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Titans head into the two-day pre-free agent negotiating period that starts Monday with their biggest need list in recent memory.

They could still re-sign one or two of their own people.

But at this point, they have significant roster holes at edge, wide receiver, tight end, defensive line, cornerback and inside linebacker. They need multiple people at some of those spots. They have secondary issues with depth at safety and on the offensive line.

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Haason Reddick, courtesy Arizona Cardinals

Only at running back are they in good shape.

I've seen plenty of these guys play and have now talked to some people, read a ton of reviews and looked at a bit more.

Now, here is my guide as to who I can see them targeting and a few guys I hope they will shoot for in the days ahead.

Keep in mind that receiver and edge are strong positions in free agency and cornerback is OK while defensive line, tight end and linebacker are not great.

Prices are estimated annual averages from Spotrac (ST) and Pro Football Focus (PFF).

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HuttonTitansRadioNASHVILLE, Tenn. – Jonathan Hutton, who’s been part of Titans' broadcasts on the radio for 15 years, is out as part of the Titans Radio team.

Hutton is a close friend who I worked with for nine years on The Midday 180 on The Zone, the Titans' flagship, and with whom I will co-host OutKick 360 along with Chad Withrow beginning on March 15.

A good segment of the fan base saw him as a solid candidate to ultimately succeed Mike Keith as the team’s radio play-by-voice someday.

Perhaps he still will be as Keith, recently elevated to vice president of broadcasting by the franchise, is a long way from done.

“I was aware there was a possibility I wouldn’t be allowed back when I chose to leave104.5 The Zone in January for Outkick,” Hutton said. [Unlocked]

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Adoree’ Jackson’s knee injury was the biggest mystery of the Titans’ 2020 season.

He practiced during training camp but when the Titans began their official practice week for Week 1’s Monday night game at Denver, Jackson appeared on the Friday, Sept. 11 injury report with a knee injury as a limited participant. He did not participate the next day and was ruled out for the game.

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The Titans put him on IR the day they played the Broncos, Sept. 14. 

He was designated for return on Oct. 21 but he wasn’t activated until Nov. 11 and he didn’t play until Dec. 20, Week 15.

With Jackson still out for five games after he was activated the Titans needed three starts from Breon Border and one from Tye Smith.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – When Malcolm Butler arrived as a pricey free agent, I was skeptical.

In my view, big expenditures are for special skills, and while Butler was certainly skilled when he arrived in Nashville from New England on March 16, 2018, he did not come with blazing speed, great size or incredible feet.

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He was, instead, lauded for being tough and smart.

Did the Titans get $36.48 million of tough and smart of out Butler in his three years?

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