Gone are Mike Munchak and Co., officially closing the door on the Bud Adams/Jeff Fisher era. There are a lot of changes going on in Tennessee this year and not just in the front office. Many players are due for new contracts and some may have theirs taken away.
The Titans aren't strapped cap-wise per say, but do have some issues to address. They are currently about $6 million under the cap due to carryover leaving just enough room to sign their draft class. But what about free agents? Will Whisenhunt make changes to free up space?
My belief is that he will shake things up a bit, but for the better. According to ESPN’s Paul Kuharksy, Chris Johnson and David Stewart are pretty much gone. While the Titans don't have too many big contracts, they do have a few players that could easily be considered overpaid.
And let's not forget the fact that alot of key players' contracts are up after 2014. That list includes Jurrell Casey, Michael Roos, Derrick Morgan, Jake Locker, Akeem Ayers, Tommie Campbell and Nate Washington.
So in other words the Titans have alot of decisions to make this offseason.
Operating under the assumption that the Titans cut CJ1K and Stewart, that would free up around $12 million extra in space. They could use that money to re-sign Alterraun Verner or make splashes elsewhere.
Nate Washington could be another casualty. His $4.8 million salary can be slashed without being counted as dead money. After a down year with the team it is a very real possibility he could be elsewhere in 2014.
Cutting those three players would alleviate around $16-$17 million in cap space, on top of the $6 million the Titans already have.
Let's pretend that this is the scenario with CJ1K, Stewart and Washington gone. The Titans now have around $23 million in cap space.
Here are five players the Titans should target in 2014:
5. Anquan Boldin
Yes he is 33, but he is coming off of an incredible season where he caught 85 balls for over 1,100 yards and 7 TDs. Throw in the fact that he used to play under Whisenhunt - there is already some familiarity - and he could have another very productive season. While I fully expect Boldin and the 49ers to get things done contractually, he would be an excellent addition and mentor to a young Titans' receiving corps.
Boldin would bring some much needed toughness and physicality to a passing attack that ranked 21st in the league last season. With Justin Hunter's ability to stretch the field and Kendall Wright's knack for YAC, Boldin would fit in very well.
4. Randy Starks
The former Titan got off to a slow start early in his career, but has flourished as one of the game's best DTs in recent years. With Ray Horton coming to town the Titans will run multiple defensive sets. However, the base scheme will most likely consist of a 3-4 or 4-3/under style.
Jurrell Casey is a phenomenal talent, but would be far more effective if moved to defensive end in the 3-4 scheme. Signing Starks would not only fill that void at DT, but would also make a nice tandem with Casey whenever Horton wants to go with a 4-3, 4-4 or even a 5-2 as he has known to do in the past.
3. Karlos Dansby
The linebackers for the Titans are talented, but they are not proven or consistent. Akeem Ayers and Zach Brown both looked good in 2012 but had disappointing seasons in 2013. Throw in the injury problems with Moise Fokou and Colin McCarthy and you have nothing but questions.
Enter Karlos Dansby.
Dansby has been a stud serving his time in the 3-4 and played under Whisehunt during his first stint in Arizona. He played over 1,000 snaps last season and still produced at a high level.
At 32, his asking price may not be very high for what could still be a few years of solid production. He and Fokou would bring an inside toughness that the Titans desperately need. He would also help speed up the learning curve when it comes to learning the new defense.
2. Brian Orakpo
This move makes so much sense.
Orakpo is a monster at the edge-rusher position. If the Titans were able to line him up on the other side of Ayers, they could have one of the best pass rushing attacks in the league.
Horton is known for asking his OLBs to drop into coverage at times too. I think that Orakpo fits that bill better with his skills than Morgan or Brown.
You could also rotate Casey from side to side to create mismatches and confuse offenses. Could you imagine a weak-side blitz with Jurrell Casey, Brian Orakpo and Karlos Dansby?
I'm getting all jittery just thinking about it.
1. Alterraun Verner
Technically Verner's contract is up, thus making him a free agent. Verner has been solid his three years in Tennessee, but his asking price may be too high. One of the top corners in the league - he will definitely test the market.
The secondary was one of the most improved units last year for the Titans so keeping Verner has to be high priority. Plus he's young and could help stabilize the defensive backfield for years to come.
Signing him would most likely mean the rest of these guys have no shot of making it to Tennessee, so you have to ask yourself - is he worth it?
In my eyes, yes. You can't have too many DBs - just ask the Seattle Seahawks.