Titans sign Taylor Lewan to richest o-line deal
The Titans have made a big effort to put a brick wall in front of Marcus Mariota to try and protect their franchise quarterback and they have done a good job of that over the past few years. Yesterday they locked up left tackle Taylor Lewan to the biggest deal for an offensive lineman in history. That deal is for five-years and $80 million, with $50 million in guarantees.
With some of the Teams top young players on cheaper deals because they are still young, including Mariota, this enabled the Titans to be able to give Lewan such a big deal.
This is a smart move in my book because they are clearly investing in the offensive line to protect Mariota and to have a good running game, which they have done the past couple of years.
Jake Matthews signs big extension with Atlanta
Taylor Lewan wasn’t the only offensive lineman to get paid on Friday. The Falcons inked their left tackle Jake Matthews to a five-year extension for $75 million. It has yet to be reported how much of that money will be guaranteed, but regardless it makes him a top-three highest paid player at his position.
The Falcons undoubtedly have one of the better offensive lines in football and locking up the guy that protects Matt Ryan’s blindside is a good move, especially after the altered Julio Jones’ contract to appease him and get him to camp.
This means some of the main players on the Falcons offense have been taken care of.
Titans give Delanie Walker an extension
Lewan wasn’t the only Titan to get paid, as the team gave tight end Delanie Walker a two-year, $17 million extension, with an $8 million signing bonus and $12.76 million is guaranteed.
Even after being in the league for 12 seasons, going into his 13th, and the fact that he’s going to be 34-years old before the season starts, Walker hasn’t stopped producing. He is coming off of a season in which his touchdowns were down a little bit, but he still put up 807 yards, marking the fourth straight season he’s put up at least 800 yards.
Walker is Mariota’s number one target and has shown an ability to be reliable, both by staying on the field and by catching a good percentage of the passes that are thrown to him.
While you’d expect a drop-off in production at some point, that has yet to come and the Titans rewarded him for it.
Jason Verrett will miss the season
The cornerback who was a first-round pick by the Chargers in the 2014 NFL Draft was highly productive in the one season he was able to stay healthy, making a Pro-Bowl in 2015, but that’s exactly the problem is that he hasn’t been able to stay healthy.
This year was no different as Chargers cornerback Jason Verrett tore his Achilles yesterday in practice going through a conditioning drill and he will of course miss all of this season.
You feel for him because he is such a talented player and he showed that in the one pro season he’s been able to stay healthy, but he has just had the worst luck staying healthy.
While this is a big loss for a Chargers defense that looks like it should be pretty good they will at least still have some good players in the secondary, lead of course by Casey Hayward and they also have first-round pick Derwin James. This still is a big blow however as they finally thought their 2014 first-round pick was going to be healthy again.