Position Primer 2013 - Safety

Discussion in 'Tennessee Titans and NFL Talk' started by Carpy, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. Carpy

    Carpy Disgruntled foreign veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2002
    Messages:
    3,550
    2013 Cap hit for all Safeties – $9.3m (8.7% of team spend)

    Players under contract:
    Michael Griffin (6’0”, 203) – 27 years old
    2013 Cap Number - $6.3m ($3.5m salary* (see BQ1) + $1.8m SB pro-rata + $1m roster bonus)
    2014 Cap Number – $8m ($6.2m salary + $1.8m SB pro-rata)
    2015 Cap Number – $8.1m ($6.3m salary + $1.8m SB pro-rata)

    Jordan Babineaux (6’0”,210) – 30 years old
    2013 Cap Number - $1.8m ($1.6m salary + $0.2m SB pro-rata)
    2014 Cap Number – UFA

    Al Afalava (5’11”, 212) – 25 years old
    2013 Cap Number – $0.630m
    2014 Cap Number – UFA

    Rpbert Johnson (6’2”,206) – 25 years old
    2013 Cap Number – $0.630m
    2014 Cap Number – RFA

    Markelle Martin (6’0”, 207) – 22 years old
    2013 Cap Number - $0.502m ($0.48m salary + $0.022m SB pro-rata)
    2013 Cap Number - $0.592m ($0.57m salary + $0.022m SB pro-rata)
    2013 Cap Number - $0.682m ($0.66m salary + $0.022m SB pro-rata)

    3 burning questions
    1. Griffin sucks. Why don’t we cut his ass?
    Firstly, as infuriatingly inconsistent as Griffin is, his replacement certainly isn’t on our roster. Secondly, let’s discuss his contract. There are multiple references to Griffin’s salary becoming guaranteed on day 5 of the league year. That is true for 2013. At the moment, his 2013 salary is only guaranteed for injury (not skill). If the Titans cut Griffin before then, they don’t have to pay him another cent (in actual money). However, Griffin has $7.2m of his $9m Signing Bonus yet to be amortised against the cap. If we keep him this year, he counts $6.3m against the cap. If we cut him, he counts $7.2m against the cap. He’s not going anywhere.

    2. Where does Markelle Martin fit in?
    It was disappointing to see him sidelined all last season, but at least he didn’t have to be part of the suckage that was our 2012 season. He played both safety spots at Oklahoma State, but most draft publications projected him to Free Safety in the pros. His run support was a real highlight of his game at the college level, however so given our gaping hole at SS, he may some time there for the Titans next season. If we bring in a stud starter to pair with Griffin, then Martin projects as the #1 backup at both spots.

    3. Are RoJo, Alfalfa and Babs all gone?
    Babs is done without question. I can’t imagine a scenario that has him returning to the Titans. Alfalfa and RoJo are probably fighting for 1 spot depending on the moves we make in free agency and who performs best on Special teams in the pre-season. Neither of them should get too comfortable, however as a full-scale makeover of this position is likely.

    Free Agency:
    Safety ties with Guard as the positions we need to address in Free Agency. Whilst we may also add a guy through the draft, I think we would be very uncomfortable getting to the draft with our current group as our only safeties on the roster. A number of pure Strong Safeties as well as some guys that could play either spot will be highly sought after in FA. Contracts for top safeties certainly aren’t at the same level as CB, so I expect us to be a player.
    William Moore
    Ed Reed
    Jarius Byrd
    Jim Leonhard
    Louis Delmas
    Kenny Phillips
    Glover Quin
    Patrick Chung
    Abram Elam
    Chris Clemons
    Dashon Goldson
    LaRon Landry
    Yeremiah Bell
    Madieu Williams

    Possible Cap Casualties:
    Kerry Rhodes
    Roman Harper

    Potential Draft Targets:
    Like all positions, our strategy at Safety depends very much on how we fare in Free Agency. I think the need is so great at G and SS that we need to address these positions with proven vets and won’t wait until the draft. There are some good prospects in the draft for consideration in the 2nd and 3rd round.

    Eric Reid, LSU
    Matt Elam, Florida
    Kenny Vaccaro, Texas
    Baccari Rambo, Georgia
    Robert Lester, Alabama
    Shamarko Thomas, Syracuse

    Summary
    Blind Freddy could see that our play at the safety position was disgraceful in 2012 and a repeat performance can’t be tolerated. Babineaux and, before him, Hope, both proved short-term fixes that were exposed in the long run. Griffin still is maddeningly inconsistent, but it makes no sense to get rid of him this season. Hopefully Martin proves to be a steal and can thrive in 2013, but any way you look at it, we need to be aggressive in Free Agency to upgrade this position.

    My take
    It will be interesting to see which of the free agents listed will be re-signed or franchised before free agency starts. Mayhew has already said the Lions aren’t going to use the franchise tag, which means my #1 target Louis Delmas should be available. Reid and Byrd are near certainties to get tagged, but guys like Moore, Chung and Leonhard should be available and would all be an upgrade over our current starters. If we address the position with one of the top FAs, I wouldn’t expect to see the Titans draft a safety until the late rounds to compete for the #4 spot with RoJo and Alfalfa.
    #1
    • High Five High Five x 3
  2. The Playmaker

    The Playmaker pineapple pizza party

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2006
    Messages:
    12,774
    Sign William Moore and take a FS in the mid rounds. Cut Afalava and maybe even Johnson.

    SS: Moore-Martin
    FS: Griffin-Rookie

    If we can't sign a SS go with one in the 2nd or 3rd.
    #2
  3. Titans2004

    Titans2004 Starter

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2004
    Messages:
    2,409
    Carpy thank you so much for all your hard work. I think that all of the primers should be tagged and kept in the same area somewhere on the board as they are such a great resource. What is the status of our overall cap space?

    I think safety is the position that we just have to land a solid FA because we can't be forced to reach for a safety in the 1st or 2nd rnd of the draft. We know that we can land a plug in starter at OG/C in the 2nd rnd. Same just can't be said for the safety spot.

    As has been stated many times, if we improve the interior DL then it will certainly improve our safety play.
    #3
  4. Carpy

    Carpy Disgruntled foreign veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2002
    Messages:
    3,550
    No problem. I've enjoyed doing them. I also intended to update them through Free Agency as Free Agents sign with different teams. Happy for TJ to pin them (or links to them) somewhere. I suggest doing so in the master off-season thread.

    Without doing anything we are somewhere between $15 and $19m under the cap with players we have under contract (48 of them). I don't believe we are carrying over much dead money from previous seasons, so I think that range will hold up.

    There are some obvious moves we are likely to make (Hawk, Babs etc) that will nudge us closer to $20m in space and then Amano and Hasselbeck are looking at re-structures or outright releases to free up some more space.
    #4
  5. Gunny

    Gunny Lord and Master Tip Jar Donor

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Messages:
    46,438
    Surely the Ravens re-sign Reed? And the Bills will do their best to keep Byrd.

    That leaves a bit of a gap in talent I think.

    Goldson, Landry, Delmas or Moore would be nice. It would also be nice to see what Markelle has in him.
    #5
  6. Carpy

    Carpy Disgruntled foreign veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2002
    Messages:
    3,550
    The only question mark with Reed is that it won't be easy for the Ravens to tag him. They also have Flacco coming off contract and if they can't get a deal done with him by the time free agency starts, then they may want to use the tag on him.

    Cary Wiliams , Paul Kruger, Dannell Ellerbe and Bryant McKinnie are all slated to be free agents as well, so they are going to have some tough decisions to make.

    Byrd likely gets tagged in Buffalo. Their only other option would be to tag LeVitre, but they just recently extended their other G (Urbik) and their C (Wood) is due to be a Free Agent next off-season and I can see them trying to work an extension with him as a priority.

    When it is all said and done I expect the Ravens to get a deal done with Flacco, and tag Reed and for the Bills to tag Byrd and let Levitre walk.
    #6
  7. Gunny

    Gunny Lord and Master Tip Jar Donor

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Messages:
    46,438
    Esh, they do have a few decisions to make.
    #7
  8. TitanJeff

    TitanJeff Kahuna Grande Staff

    Joined:
    May 24, 2002
    Messages:
    23,074
    Good idea. If you wouldn't mind sending me the links, I'll put them in there somewhere.

    For me, this position overshadows any other in need. I hope the Titans address both in free agency and an early round of the draft. I don't think they can upgrade Griffin next season but a better strong safety goes a long way towards improving his game. The goal is to move Griffin out in 2014 with someone they draft now.

    They have to upgrade depth as well. I would not be shocked to see a lot of changes here.
    #8
  9. JCBRAVE

    JCBRAVE @JCBRAVE

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2009
    Messages:
    43,415
    You're 100% right, Griffin will be a Titan til 2014, that was the plan all along. Rent him for 2012 and 2013 and dump his sorry ass after.
    #9
  10. xpmar9x

    xpmar9x Vote for Pedro

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    Messages:
    12,383
    Cut Babineaux.
    Draft Matt Elam (hopefully in the 2nd).
    Resign Afalavalavavavalvalva for cheap.

    Elam - Afalavalvalvaavfalvalava
    Griffin - Martin
    #10
    • High Five High Five x 1