Yet another foray into the free agent market came to a bad end for the Titans, as Tennessee released right tackle Michael Oher on Thursday.
Oher was, in some ways, the centerpiece of the Titans’ 2014 free agency class. He received the biggest contract ($20 million) and matched the longest length of time (four years). He played a position of extreme need, right tackle with David Stewart’s career ending, and was young enough he could be just as successful as he’d been (28). And he was.
When I wrote about the free agent offensive tackles before free agency began last year, I put Oher under the heading “He’s famous, just not very good.” While he was not the league’s worst right tackle in 2013, he was still pretty bad. And guess what? With the Titans, he played at roughly the same level he had in 2013. To top it off, in the manner of free agents everywhere, he went from durable (playing every game his first five seasons in the NFL) to injured, as injuries caused him to miss the final five games. With a guarantee kicking in for $3.35 million of his $4 million 2015 base salary kicking in if he were to be on the Titans’ roster today, they had to make a quick decision on an issue they might have preferred to deliberate on until later and for once went in the direction of admitting error.
With the OT positional analysis coming soon, I’ll simply note here Oher’s release means the Titans will be in the market for a new starting tackle this season, and I don’t see anybody under contract for 2015 who fits the bill. So, add that in pen to the already too-long list of team needs to be filled in the 2015 offseason.