2013 NFL Free Agency: 7 Players Who Should Be on Tennessee Titans' Radar
This season, they went after two very big names in Peyton Manning and Mario Williams and eventually signed perennial All-Pro guard Steve Hutchinson and Raider standout Kamerion Wimbley.
Under new management, the Titans have shown that they are more willing to go out there and sign big names, and I suspect they'll do the same in 2013's offseason.
With needs remaining in a lot of areas, what players will the Titans pursue next offseason? Here are seven players the Titans should be looking to in 2013.
1. Kevin Boothe, OG, New York Giants
The Titans' biggest need right now is at the center position, but there are no great free-agent centers on the market next season, so they'll have to fix that in the draft.
However, that isn't the only interior line position the Titans need upgrades at. They could also use help at guard and, luckily, there are some good guards out there for the taking.
One of the best is current New York Giant Kevin Boothe. Since the Giants are already in a pretty tough cap situation, they're likely to lose a couple of players to the market.
Although the Giants had issues on their offensive line, David Diehl and Boothe held things down on the left side very well. Boothe would be an immediate upgrade at right guard and would be ready to take over on the left side right away when Steve Hutchinson declines.
The addition of Boothe would put the Titans offensive line on par with what it was in 2008.
2. T.J. Lang, OG, Green Bay Packers
Since Leroy Harris will be a free agent in 2013, the Titans will need to keep their eye on several options at guard. Boothe will likely be the best available, but another great pickup would be current Packer T.J. Lang.
Like Boothe, Lang would be signing up to play right guard, but he's young enough (just 24 years old) that he might not mind waiting a year or two to switch back to playing the left side. Also, like Boothe, Lang plays for a team that has several free agents coming into 2013, so they can't keep everyone.
His youth is also helpful in that it would allow the Titans to safely sign him to a very long contract without much risk of his play dropping off significantly.
It's hard to predict how much guards will get because it varies so greatly, but if their other signings in free agency are meager (other than the obvious extension of Jason McCourty), a great guard would be easily affordable.
3. Tracy Porter, CB, Denver Broncos
The cornerback position is a little up in the air. The starters will likely be Jason McCourty and Alterraun Verner, with Tommie Campbell pushing for playing time and Coty Sensabaugh getting a few snaps here and there.
But in a division with Andrew Luck and Matt Schaub, you can never have too many talented corners. Furthermore, McCourty will be needing a new deal in 2013. If he demands more money than the Titans are willing to dish out, then bringing in someone like Porter could be the answer.
In 2011, Porter had nine defended passes and an interception, along with a couple of forced fumbles and 52 total tackles, but he's better than those numbers indicate.
If the Titans did bring in Porter, it would likely be as a No. 2 corner. They could be in the market for one if neither Verner nor Campbell step up to the plate.
4. Tyvon Branch, SS, Oakland Raiders
Of course, even if the Titans are a little thin at corner, another way to make up for it would be to beef up the safety position. The best strong safety on the market will be Tyvon Branch.
Like the Titans did with Michael Griffin, the Raiders franchised Branch and are now trying to reach a long-term deal with him. In all likelihood, they'll eventually sign him to a longer deal, but if they don't, he'd be the same kind of impact signing that Kamerion Wimbley was last year or Matt Hasselbeck was in 2011.
Branch is one of the best strong safeties in the game. In 2011, he had 109 total tackles, four defended passes, a sack and an interception. Unlike Griffin, Branch isn't a big playmaker, but he is a consistent, tough football player.
His style would compliment Griffin and vice versa, but he'd be a pretty expensive signing, and if the Titans went after him, it'd be tough for them to pick up too many other players.
5. Charlie Peprah, SS, Green Bay Packers
If the Titans do decide to look to free agency for a strong safety, a good, but much cheaper, option would be Charlie Peprah.
Peprah spent the first few years of his career in obscurity before finally finding success with the Packers in the last couple of seasons. In 2011, Peprah had 10 defended passes and five interceptions to go along with 94 total tackles.
At 30 years old, he wouldn't be a long-term solution, but he'd be a band aid on the position along with Jordan Babineaux. Between the two of them, the Titans would be able to put out a decent starting strong safety and not worry much about injury.
Peprah is also likely to move from Green Bay, since the Packers will be concerned with re-signing Sam Shields and Greg Jennings much more than Peprah. He's also likely to be very cheap: His last deal with the Packers was a mere two years and $2.5 million.
6. Osi Umenyiora, DE, New York Giants
If Derrick Morgan continues to not produce, then the Titans will be looking for an upgrade at defensive end. If he improves but is unable to start getting to the quarterback, the Titans may bring in a pass-rush specialist.
The Giants have already talked about trading away Osi Umenyiora, and with Mathias Kiwanuka currently playing under a big extension, Jason Pierre-Paul coming off a breakout season and Justin Tuck always being reliable, he is unlikely to stay there.
Since he'll be on the market in 2013, the Titans may be able to snag him. Over the course of his career, Umenyiora has averaged right at 8.5 sacks per season, with more than 20 in the last couple of years.
Umenyiora won't come cheap, but since the Giants could be ready to give him up for a second-round pick, he may not be as expensive as people think. If he won't cost an arm and a leg, it might be worth it to pick him up.
7. Dwight Freeney, DE, Indianapolis Colts
Dwight Freeney is getting older, the Colts are in rebuild mode, have changed schemes and have extended Robert Mathis. All of that taken together makes it look like Freeney's future with the Colts is short.
The fact is that 33-year-old defensive ends can't demand a ton of money, especially when younger guys like Chris Long, Osi Umenyiora, Chris Clemons and Robert Geathers are on the market.
There's also the fact that at this point in his career, he's pretty limited to being just being a pass-rush specialist. He hasn't been a three-down defensive end in years.
If the Titans were able to acquire Freeney, chances are that he'd just come in on third downs to rush the passer while Derrick Morgan started on other downs and focused more on stopping the run.