Jim Wyatt, SENIOR WRITER/EDITOR
PHOENIX – Well, the location has changed for this Tuesday’s Titans mailbag, but it’s still being delivered.
What’s that old saying about “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night … ?”
It’s been busy here at the NFL owners meetings, but that’s not going to stop me from getting some of these questions answered.
We’ve got bookend questions from Los Angeles, and questions from Hong Kong and France in the mix.
Let’s goooooo …
Hector Sanchez from Los Angeles, California
Question: Hey Jim first time writer here….. My question is this: The 3 main free agents we got (Wake, Humphries, Saffold) I know everybody is happy we got these guys myself included but don’t you think we gave them too much cash??? I mean we gave Wake a 3 year deal for 25 million and Humphries is going to be making top dollar as well, I get the Saffold one but he’s going to be 31. Don’t you think we gave a little too much for these guys?
Jim: Hey Hector. I really don’t. If you’re going to get guys you want early in free agency, you’re going to have to pay, and sometimes a little more. Some of these contracts are structured where the team is not on the hook all the way through. And one nugget as it relates to Humphries – it’s my understanding the offer from the Titans was less than other places. And he had four teams interested.
Tre’Jean Watkins from Mt. Juliet, Tennessee
Question: Hi Mr. Wyatt, very nice to see your coverage on TitansOnline.com and your personality still around Nashville. My question is will the Titans consider ever having a preseason game in Hawaii? I mean with a native Hawaiian as your QB, bringing him there to play in front of his home would be absolutely amazing. Thanks for reading and have a nice day.
Jim: Hey Tre’Jean. I appreciate it. I’m glad to still be hanging around! Well, I’d be up for a preseason game in Hawaii! Seriously, I’d been hearing the buzz about a preseason game being played in Hawaii, and was thinking (more like hoping) it might end up being the Titans. Then I saw it announced last week that the Rams and Cowboys are playing there in August. So it won’t be this year. Could it happen in the future? Well, as long as Marcus Mariota is the QB I’d have to think the Titans would be a team of interest. But I think it would probably require the team practicing with another team there leading up to the game. Again, nothing brewing as far as that goes. But never say never…
David Tan from Hong Kong
Question: Hi Jim. First time writing to you. I have been Titans fan since early 2000s when I lived in Nashville. Now living in Hong Kong, I find it hard to follow the Titans so appreciate insight and information from your column!
Really like additions so far since free agency period started. Very excited about new season! I think JRob has done a great job here (actually he has done a great job since joining the Titans). That leads to my question. Does JRob have contract just like players do? Or is he considered full-time employee (no specific termination date in employment agreement) like most of us working for companies? Either way, I’m sure most Titans fans (and probably Amy also) want him here for the long run.
Another question is whether you think there is a chance NFL will play a regular season game in Asia down the road? I think it’s a long shot but seeing the Titans played in London last year, I hope NFL would consider Asia as well (though it’s most likely be West coast teams).
I’d like to end by saying from what I follow from afar, I really like Marcus as a person. I think he is such a great character—always crediting his teammates/coaches for success and always taking blames for himself. He also showed flashes of being great QB. I hope he will prove once and for all that he is our franchise QB and stays with the team for a long time with JRob. If you see him, please let him know he has fans rooting for him from all over the world (at least he has one in Hong Kong). TitansUp!
Jim: Hi David. Great to hear from you, and it really makes me feel good to know you’re reading the mailbag and still following the team in Hong Kong. The power of the NFL, and Nashville, huh? If you haven’t been back to Nashville since you left, you’d be shocked at how much it has grown.
As for Robinson, he does have a contract. The owner actually gave him an extension last offseason. The NFL is always up for taking the show on the road. I got to experience this first-hand with the London trip. I have not heard about the potential of a game in Asia, but nothing would shock me with the popularity of the league.
As for Mariota, you’re on the money. He’s a class act. Nothing phony about him. When I see him next I’ll tell him David in Hong Kong is supporting him! Best to you.
Peter Ortensie from San Antonio, Texas
Question: Would you be surprised to see Ryan Tannehill occasionally line up at WR for a few plays this season? He was after all a WR at Texas A&M for three seasons, and he wasn’t a bad WR either. Snagging 112 catches, for 1,596 yards, and 10 tds. Not too bad for a QB. He could help make for a nice decoy package, Titans could line him up at WR, toss him and lateral, then have him throw it deep to Davis or Taylor. What do you think? And can you pass this info on to Vrabes next time you see him? 😂
Jim: Yes Peter, I’d be surprised. But food for thought, right? Thanks for the background.
Michael Bain from McMinnville, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim. Always love your insight. I’ve been a Titans/Oilers fan for the last 50 years!!! My question is with the addition of Cameron Wake do the Titans get some help on the inside dline? I mean Jurrell Casey is great but he does need some help on the interior.
Jim: Hey Michael. The answer to this is yes. At least that’s my opinion. When I look at the needs of the team, and what needs to still be addressed, I see interior defensive line. The good news it’s a good draft class for the position, and it’s deep draft class there as well.
Nicolas Delamare from Laval, France
Question: Hey Jim, my question are…When I saw mock drafts who see us select a TE, I laughed BUT now, when you see our free agency and when we have some thoughts about this part of our offense, Delanie and Jonnu will come back from tough injuries, Anthony Firkser can continue to improve but we have lost Luke Stocker (used as a blocker too) so…Do you think TE can be our 1st choice of the next draft?? What are your thoughts about our TE position?
Jim: Hey Nicolas. Good to hear from you again. I actually asked the GM about this on Monday. Here’s what he said: “I don’t know. We’ll see how it goes. There’s some tight ends that are certainly worthy of going up there in the first round. Whether that’s the direction we go in or not, it’s to be determined.”
My take: At first thought, drafting a tight end doesn’t make a lot of sense. But as I’ve thought long and hard about it (and it sounds like you have, too), it’s not beyond the realm of possibility in my mind. This has become a popular mailbag question, because as you mentioned, tight end has been a popular pick for the Titans in mocks. Again, I’m not endorsing the team take a tight end. But I actually get where it’s coming from. Delanie is coming back, and I expect him to play at a high level in 2019. I’ll never bet against him. But we can’t ignore the fact he’ll be 35 when the season starts. Also, Luke Stocker departed, and signed with the Falcons, as you mentioned. Jonnu Smith has flashed, no doubt. He’s talented. But he’s also had two seasons end with injuries. Anthony Firkser and MyCole Pruitt have had their moments with the team, and they have nice potential. But some of the tight ends in this draft class are special talents. I was really impressed with Noah Fant and T.J. Hockenson at the NFL Combine. They’re impact players, and matchup problems. Again, I’m not saying the team needs to take a tight end at 19. But with some other needs already addressed in free agency, all options are on the table, and whichever teams get Fant and Hockenson will have two really good players.
Darin Finkelstein from Chatham, New Jersey
Question: Hey Jim. Hope all is well. Exciting time of year as the roster changes and gaps are filled. Seems like management is doing a great job building depth across many positions. With the injury rate across the NFL, this is clearly a priority. The position of greatest concern is wide receiver. Concerned that If Corey Davis were to go down we would be in rough shape. The addition of Adam Humphries is going to be great for the slot and on 3rd down but we would need someone to win one on one battles downfield and to grab the 50/50 balls. Question: Do you also share this concern and do you think the Titans will seek another big target via the draft, free agency or trade?
Jim: Hey Darin. Humphries was a big addition, but I agree. I think more help is coming, and needed. It’s still a young group. It still wouldn’t surprise me if another receiver is added in free agency, and the draft. I think that even more after talking to Jon Robinson on Monday in Phoenix. As for a trade, well, nothing the GM does would surprise me. He’s pulled off more trades in his regime than the previous three GMs combined.
Apollo Dyson from Jacksonville, Florida
Question: Hey Jim along with a lot of fans I appreciate your work. I do have a draft question. If you were the GM on draft night and you were targeting a WR at 19 who would you draft?
Jim: Hey Apollo. Not ready to go there yet, and not sure I will. The truth is the Titans are at the mercy of so many teams when picking as late at 19. It’s just impossible to know who will be there until they’re on the clock.
Stephan Mateo from Los Angeles, California
Question: My friend was asking whether as a new fan of football, it would be good to be a fan of the Titans?
Jim: Hey Stephen. Tell your friend to Titan Up!
Have a great week everyone!