Five Titans' veterans who lose the most from no joint workouts, preseason games

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – While players did the best they could with individual and then, perhaps, small group workouts, the lack of OTAs and minicamp surely dented progress.

The absence of joint workouts and preseason games will be worse for rookies than for veterans, of course, and it’ll be worse for some veterans than others.

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Here are the five Titans' veterans who I think stand to suffer the most from the NFL’s unusual August:

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How Titans will work with similarities of Harold Landry and Vic Beasley

NASHVILLE, Tenn. –  Ideally, a defensive front includes a speedy edge rusher playing across from a stouter, more physical guy, giving a team a mix of guys with different traits who get then to the quarterback.

Right now, the Titans will be looking to two pretty similar guys in their pursuit with Harold Landry and Vic Beasley.

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One other Jadeveon Clowney consideration: His bearing on next year's salary cap

One other Jadeveon Clowney consideration: His bearing on next year's salary cap

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Jadeveon Clowney’s very attractive for a team that loves the idea of front multiplicity and I think the Titans are well-positioned to land him somewhere in the next several weeks.

His ability to bounce around and fit all over can make him a matchup problem and the attention he draws will make things easier for a number of other guys along the front, from Harold Landry to Vic Beasley.Titans3logos

While the franchise must simultaneously consider the short term and the long term, I tend to argue on the side of worrying about now now, and later later. (General example: Hand Derrick Henry the ball now, worry about the effects of wear and tear later.)

Still, there is a potential downside to a Clowney contract we have not examined and is worth some discussion.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Good will be found in the results of coronavirus-adjusted sports.

Somewhere in what we are left with, will be stuff worth liking. And while it’s hard to have faith in management in much of it, wise leagues will listen to their fans and be responsive.BrushTitansFan

In 2021, the NFL preseason will be reduced from four games to three, to help keep the league at 20 total games as the regular season expands from 16 to 17 games.

But what if the NFL – and its fans -- realize that a season with zero preseason games season in 2020 (per multiple reports) is a fully functional model? Or at least show a reduction to one or two can easily work?

C’mon, pray the prayer and dream the dream with me.

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Where were Titans' players in the NFL's Sunday 'WeWantToPlay' chorus?

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – We repeatedly hear not just from their fans, but from some of the Titans themselves, about how they are underappreciated, under-represented and under-respected nationally.

In some respects, they have a fair case.

And in some, like one they put on full display Sunday, they do not.

NFL players worked together to get out a clear message as a group that while they want to get back to work when training camps are open, they are not satisfied with the NFL’s plans for health and safety precaution plans to the extent they’ve been revealed so far.

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J.J. Watt was one of numbers of NFL players who spelled out his concerns in a Twitterstorm.

Where were the Titans’ leaders on this?

Well, a couple echoed the hashtag and couple retweeted the league’s big names. [UPDATE: Actually a few echoed the hashtag: Taylor Lewan, Kenny Vaccaro and Rashaan Evans.]

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Titans fared well staying short-term with guarantees in deal with Derrick Henry

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Long-term investment in a running back is dangerous.

The Titans are built around a special running back.

It put them in a tough spot as they reached Wednesday afternoon’s deadline for an extension, as Derrick Henry would have had to move forward on his one-year franchise tag without a new deal.HenryRun3Jaguars

I expected that was what would happen, and that he would make $10.278 million this year and $12.333 million – 120 percent of the 2020 tag as the 2021 tag in a year.

I thought that, though, because I figured Henry and his representatives would over-value him.

While I'm wary of big second deals for running backs, this is good money, not reset-the-market-for-the-position money, and it's a deal that could easily amount to two years for just over what two tags would have cost.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – When Jon Robinson led the Titans decision to fire Mike Mularkey after a playoff season in 2016, his primary attraction to Mike Vrabel was Vrabel’s ability to lead.

“Obviously I hadn't worked with him from a coaching standpoint, I had really observed him as a player in the way that he conducted himself as a leader on those teams in New England,” Robinson said. “Certainly, I watched his coaching career from afar, you know, when he was at Ohio State and with the Texans. I knew that the leadership was going to be something. He just a natural leader.”RobinsonVrabelLaughDraft

After two years working with Vrabel, I wondered if Vrabel has delivered something different and/or something more than Robinson expected when he chose him as Mularkey’s replacement.

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Jon Robinson: Revenue, salary-cap uncertainty hurts potential for extensions

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The deadline for an unlikely Derrick Henry extension is Wednesday.

Beyond that, the Titans have three other key players heading into contract years. in a normal year, history suggests one of them would get an extension and the Titans would remove all worry of losing him next spring in free agency. 

Titans have been very proactive in recent summers, extending players like Taylor Lewan and Kevin Byard before they got close to the free market.JSmithTDBucsBut the slowed revenue stream ahead with limited capacity at NFL stadiums due to the coronavirus pandemic makes the future of the salary cap unknown. New TV deals are on the horizon – the contract with ESPN runs out in 2021 and all the other deals expire in 2022. A big part of the league’s push to get the CBA done before this season was to line up negotiations with those broadcast partners. [Unlocked]

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