The Tennessee Titans find themselves in a less-than-ideal situation when it comes to keeping their top free agents. Tennessee is currently over the projected salary cap for the 2023 season by more than $20 million.
There are several avenues the team can explore to get under the salary cap, however, they will need to use some of that money to replace those cap casualties, as well as to improve several other areas on the roster.
Arguably the hardest decision the team faces this offseason will be whether or not they should retain linebacker David Long Jr.
A recent article by Pro Football Focus has listed Long as the 17th-best free agent on the market. More importantly, they have his expected contract to exceed $50 million.
PFF projects his next deal as follows:
- Four years, $55 million ($13.75M per year); $33 million total guaranteed.
Truthfully, it’s hard to see the Titans bringing Long back if he gets anything close to that type of offer.
Long is an integral piece of the defense, but the team has much bigger needs than spending nearly $14 million per year on an off-ball linebacker.
It’s especially hard to fathom them taking that deal when you remember that Mike Vrabel specifically named Long as one of the repeat offenders of soft-tissue injuries during his final press conference of the season.
Only time will tell how all this plays out, but there’s no denying that the Titans’ defense is much better when Long is out there. Tennessee will have to find an adequate replacement for him if they do in fact let him walk.