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Titans Offseason Positional Analysis – Quarterbacks

As promised, I’m now about ready to start the Titans’ offseason positional reviews for 2007. Strengths and weaknesses will be addressed, as will projected departures and anticipated needs. Although the Titans are healthy cap-wise, in several instances a player’s cap number will be an issue and will therefore be addressed accordingly.
We’ll start with the most important position, quarterback, which of course means Vince Young.
There’s no question about the starting position. Vince signed a contract for five years, with an option for a sixth, last year. The deal could reach $58 million with incentives, and $26M is guaranteed, so he’s not going anywhere for a while.
The only question at the quarterback position is who the backups will be.
Kerry Collins likely won’t be back. He signed a one-year contract last year, knowing he was only the caretaker of the position until Young was ready to play. Collins still feels he can be a starter and will doubtless sign with the team that affords him the best opportunity to play.
The only other consideration is Matt Mauck, who’s now a free agent and won’t be back. He simply hasn’t shown enough to be a #2 that can be an effective backup who can play well if called on, and he’s no longer eligible for the practice squad.
That means the Titans will look for a veteran free agent. Coaches love to have a veteran as the #2, as Neil O’Donnell was for the Titans for several years and Jeff Garcia was for the Eagles this past season. Miami would have had big problems without Joey Harrington.
Collins would probably be a possibility only if he doesn’t get a chance to start elsewhere. I like Collins and feel he would do a lot better than last year, when he was placed in a difficult situation with virtually no preparation. He’s a good guy who’s turned his life around and is a good team guy. If he doesn’t get a shot to start elsewhere, I’d like to see him back here as the Titans’ #2.
As always, the Titans will bring in a couple of undrafted free agent rookie QBs who will stay with the team until August, then be cut. Every once in a while, one of them surprises and sticks with the team, as Billy Volek and Jason Gesser did as UDFA rookies. One of the new rookies will have a good shot at being the third QB this year, assigned to the practice squad. Kent Smith was just signed to a futures contract and will be one of the rookie hopefuls this summer.
To be realistic about it though, Titans fans hope the number two and number three QBs, whoever they will be, won’t be an issue this fall.