2013 Cap hit for all DT’s – $2.4m (2.1% of team spend) Players under contract: Jurrell Casey (6’1”, 300) – 23 years old 2013 Cap Number - $0.734m ($0.58m salary + $0.154m SB pro-rata) 2014 Cap Number – $0.824m ($0.67m salary + $0.154m SB pro-rata) 2015 Cap Number – UFA Mike Martin (6’1”, 306) – 22 years old 2013 Cap Number - $0.64m ($0.5m salary + $0.14 SB pro-rata) 2014 Cap Number – $2.8m ($0.59m salary + $0.14m SB pro-rata) 2015 Cap Number – $2.8m ($0.68m salary + $0.14m SB pro-rata) Karl Klug (6’3”, 275) – 24 years old 2013 Cap Number – $0.6m 2014 Cap Number – $0.69m 2015 Cap Number – UFA DaJohn Harris (6’3”, 306) – 23 years old 2013 Cap Number – $0.48m 2014 Cap Number – $0.57m 2015 Cap Number – RFA Expired contracts SenDerrick Marks Zach Clayton 3 burning questions 1. Did SenDerrick Marks earn another contract with the Titans? This season certainly qualified as a break-out season for Marks and I think he will be able to parlay that into a nice contract somewhere, but I think the emergence of Martin probably makes him expendable, as they are similar sized bodies that play a similar style. 2. Can Casey take his game to another level? Out of the multiple reasonably talented DTs we have on our roster, Casey has shown the most promise of being a true stud. His play this year, however didn’t meet expectations and he’ll need to take it to another level for the Titans D-Line to grow. 3. Will the real Karl Klug please stand up? After a stellar rookie season, Klug disappeared for major stretches this season, only to come alive towards the end of the year. A lot of his sacks seem to be as a result of hustle and coverage and he doesn’t demonstrate the ability to blow by blockers consistently. I think he will always be good depth and nothing more. Free Agency: With a miniscule investment in this position, the Titans need to do something. The draft is certainly an option, but if a true big body is available in Free Agency, then I wouldn’t be surprised for us to play. Vance Walker Henry Melton Corey Williams Shaun Cody Glenn Dorsey Terrance Knighton Randy Starks Ron Brace Sedrick Ellis Turk McBride Rocky Bernard Richard Seymour Casey Hampton Aubrayo Franklin Isaac Sopoaga Ricky Jean Francois Alan Branch Jason Jones Possible Cap Casualties: Jonathan Babineaux Domata Peko Cory Redding Kevin Williams Tommy Kelly Potential Draft Targets: This year’s draft class is super-deep at DT and a high pick on a stud DT is very much an option. Star Loutelei, Utah Jonathan Hankins, Ohio State Sheldon Richardson, Missouri Jesse Williams, Alabama John Jenkins, Georgia Sylvester Williams, North Carolina Summary Even if we retain Marks, our DTs are all between 6’1 and 6’3” and between 275 and 306 lbs. I realise the Shaun Smith experiment flopped last off-season, but I seriously think we are too light in the middle. Particularly when you consider the oldest DT still on our roster is 24 years old and has only had one real off-season of NFL conditioning. The bottom line is we need to get bigger and better against the run. We ranked 31st in the NFL last season on runs between the tackles, with opponents averaging 4.51 ypc. For our defense to take the next step, stopping the run up the middle is priority #1. The high ticket Free Agents (Ellis, Seymour and Melton) are great players, but are in a similar mould to the guys we already have. I think 2nd tier big guys like Knighton, Sopoaga or Cody would hold interest for the Titans. My take Whilst I can see us having a sniff around at the bigger DTs in Free Agency, I think DT is currently the short priced favourite to be our 1st round pick. Star is most likely gone in the first 5 picks, so I think the choice at the moment is between Hankins, Jenkins and Jesse Williams. I think the Titans will make a token effort to retain Marks, but he likely leaves in Free Agency. Natural improvement in our returning tackles could also help make this group a real team strength in 2013.