NFL Free Agency: Tennessee Titans Fail to Improve by Signing Steve Hutchinson

Nate DunlevyGuest ColumnistMarch 16, 2012

Hutchinson is a Pro-Bowl talent. Or he was, anyway.
Hutchinson is a Pro-Bowl talent. Or he was, anyway.Doug Benc/Getty Images

The free-agency action for the AFC South has been about as fast and furious as Tarik Glenn at an Elmo Convention.

While the Jacksonville Jaguars had the early "lead" on Wednesday thanks to their signing of Laurent Robinson, the Titans struck back in day two. There weren't many transactions overall, so grading them all will take less time than a David Carr pocket.

Titans sign Guard Steve Hutchinson from Minnesota

Hutchinson has had a long and illustrious career with the Vikings. Any time a team can lure away a seven-time Pro Bowl player, it's a coup, and Hutchinson was effective last year, despite his advanced age. The former Viking and Seahawks standout will replace Jake Scott, another respected veteran. This is a good signing for the Titans, but doesn't actually make them better than they were last year.

Scott had a strong pass-blocking season and graded out very well throughout the year. Hutchinson is a comparable replacement, and choosing between them at this stage is fruitless. If anything, Scott is still the better player, simply using age as a tie breaker.

Grade: C. It's a good move, but not a net gain. The Titans are better with Hutchinson than with most other options at guard, but not any better than they were with Scott last year. They didn't get better on Thursday. They just stayed the same. Hence, a C.

Colts sign Guard/Center Mike McGlynn

McGlynn is a hefty guard who played sparingly in Philly last year, taking most of his snaps late in the season. He fits the Colts' new philosophy of getting bigger and stronger, while not actually getting better.

There's not much evidence that McGlynn is any good, as he has been unable to crack the starting lineup with any consistency. As the Eagles move to a Howard Mudd-coached line (smaller, faster), the Colts are scooping up guys Ryan Grigson likes from his days in Philly.

If McGlynn is the new Colts center in 2012, it's a sign of bad things to come. He's not going to make anyone forget Jeff Saturday.

CORRECTION: McGlynn went to the Bengals in 2010, and did not play for the Eagles or Howard Mudd in the regular season. He was cut after training camp. Apologies.

Grade: D. Terms of the deal aren't out, but McGlynn isn't very good and is indicative of a bad philosophy of team building. The Colts aren't just rebuilding, but they are rebuilding in the wrong way.