With free agency just a week away, and the legal tampering period even closer than that, the Tennessee Titans have a number of players who could be headed into unrestricted free agency.
But one area to keep an eye on is at guard where the Titans could potentially lose both starters and their top backup in free agency. The draft is deep on the interior.
The Titans are in negotiations to possibly retain is starting right guard Josh Kline. There is still time for a deal to be done, and talks continue, though nothing is imminent as yet, according to a league source. The Titans have just five days of exclusive negotiating left as teams can begin to talk to free agents March 12 with the signing period opening on March 14.
Claimed off waivers from the New England Patriots in 2016, Kline became a starter after week two of that season when Chance Warmack went down with a hand injury and was lost for the season.
Kline started all 16 games last season for the Titans and could benefit from the team’s decision to run more of a zone-blocking scheme under new head coach Mike Vrabel, new offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur and new offensive line coach Keith Carter.
Kline isn’t the only Titans’ interior offensive lineman who could be headed to free agency. Starting left guard Quinton Spain is a restricted free agent and the Titans have until the start of free agency to decide if they will place a tender on the former undrafted lineman from West Virginia. The lowest tender amount reportedly will be just over $1.9 million, meaning that the Titans, if they tender Spain at this level, would have the right to match an offer sheet for him, but would get no draft pick compensation for Spain if they chose not to match an offer.
Tennessee might not want to tender Spain at the higher levels to guarantee compensation ($2.9 million second-round level or $4.1 million first-round level). If they choose not to tender Spain, they could send him into the open market, or sign him to a more team-friendly deal as they did last year when tight end Phillip Supernaw agreed to a two-year $3 million deal after being non-tendered.
Also, backup guard/center Brian Schwenke, who came back to the Titans after being released by the Colts last year, is a free agent once again.