How the Tennessee Titans can achieve $84.5m in Cap Space

The Tennessee Titans currently sit at $10 million over the cap, and need to start making some moves to free up some cap space before free agency begins. One of the many ways a team can do this is through restructuring certain players’ contracts.

Using information provided by OverTheCap.com, there is a way for the Titans to restructure, extend, and cut certain players to go from the $10 million over the cap to up to $84.5 million under the cap.

Now obviously not every player on this list will be restructured, and even if most players are they not be subject to a maximum restructure, just a simple one, but its always good to have this information for the offseason.

Simple Restructure vs Maximum Restructure

Before we get to the players, you need to understand the difference between a simple restructure and a maximum restructure as both scenarios will be provided for each player. Here are the wordy, and probably confusing to most, definitions of the restructures:

  • simple restructure converts payments into prorated signing bonuses within the confines of the remainder of the contract. Teams typically have the ability to unilaterally execute simple restructures without any action necessary from the player.
  • maximum restructure increases the amount of cap space via conversion into prorated signing bonuses by either extending the contract or by adding void years to a contract, years that do not extend the contract but are only used as placeholders for the proration. Maximum restructures are typically considered a renegotiation of the contract that requires the player’s consent to execute.

Here is how I would describe it to people:

  • simple restructure converts base salary/roster bonuses into a signing bonus. The team then gets to spread out the cap hit equally among the remaining years of the contract. In most cases, teams do not need a players permission to do a simple restructure.
  • maximum restructure converts base salary/roster bonuses into a signing bonus. The team then gets to spread out the cap hit equally by extending the years of the contract, or can add void years. Because this is considered a renegotiated contracts, teams do need players consent.

How much could the Titans save solely on Restructures?

The Titans save up to $66.9 million towards the cap through simple restructures on certain players. This will get them to a salary cap space of $56.9 million when it’s all said and done.

The Titans save up to $100.6 million towards the cap through using maximum restructures on certain players. This will get them to a salary cap space of $90.6 million when it’s all said and done.

The Plan

For the rest of the article we will take a look at 13 players on the Titans who have a cap hit of $4 million or greater in 2022. We are going look at their numbers, and I will let you know whether I think they should be cut, simple restructured, or extended.

The Players

Ryan Tannehill

  • Current Cap Hit: $38,600,000
  • Cap Savings after Restructure: $20,914,000
  • Cap Savings after Extension: $22,304,000
  • Cap Savings Pre-June 1st Cut: ($18,800,000)
  • Cap Savings Post-June 1st Cut: $0

The Verdict: Restructure

The Why: Cutting just isn’t an option, if you do it before June 1st you lose money. If you do it after June 1st, you break even, & even then you can’t use the money towards the salary cap until after June 1st.

If you extend, then you’re locked into to Tannehill’s contract for several more years. With a simple restructure you’re just locked in with Tannehill for what the length you’ve committed yourself for already.

Julio Jones

  • Current Cap Hit: $14,313,000
  • Cap Savings after Restructure: $7,794,750
  • Cap Savings after Extension: $8,314,400
  • Cap Savings Pre-June 1st Cut: $1,113,000
  • Cap Savings Post-June 1st Cut: $9,513,000

The Verdict: Restructure

The Why: This team needs pass catching weapons. I know Julio Jones had a supremely disappointing year in 2021, but this team finally got him right and healthy, and we saw shades of a player who can be a more than serviceable WR2.

Another offseason of being healthy and building chemistry with Tannehill can do wonders for a player. So much like Tannehill’s situation lets do a simple restructure confined within the years of the contract he’s already signed for.

Bud Dupree

  • Current Cap Hit: $19,200,000
  • Cap Savings after Restructure: $11,160,000
  • Cap Savings after Extension: $11,904,000
  • Cap Savings Pre-June 1st Cut: ($9,600,000)
  • Cap Savings Post-June 1st Cut: $0

The Verdict: Restructure

The Why: Whatever the Titans do, they absolutely do not need to extend Bud Dupree. His contract is already length enough. Restructure him, and use that money towards getting a Harold Landry deal done, and run it back.

Taylor Lewan

  • Current Cap Hit: $14,693,969
  • Cap Savings after Restructure: $5,890,000
  • Cap Savings after Extension: $9,424,000
  • Cap Savings Pre-June 1st Cut: $12,900,000
  • Cap Savings Post-June 1st Cut: $12,900,000

The Verdict: Extension, then restructure, then cut

The Why: There is no way the Titans need to keep Lewan at his current price. I have been very vocal about he needs to restructure or they let him walk. However, from his own words, this is where he wants to stay and finish out his career, and to me that means he’s perfect for an extension.

Lewan’s contract is up after 2023, so why not add a few more years and let him finish out his career here while also freeing up some cap space. If he says no, and a restructure is off the table, send him packing.

Zach Cunningham

  • Current Cap Hit: $10,411,765
  • Cap Savings after Restructure: $5,976,667
  • Cap Savings after Extension: $7,172,000
  • Cap Savings Pre-June 1st Cut: $10,411,675
  • Cap Savings Post-June 1st Cut: $10,411,675

The Verdict: Extension

The Why: Zach Cunningham was obviously rejuvenated when he was picked up by the Titans after he was cut. He just turned 27 and showed no signs he was slowing down anytime soon. Cunningham’s deal is up after 2024, doing an extension with an easy out at some point makes sense.

Keep the core of Long, Cunningham, and Rice together and add a linebacker through the later rounds of the draft or free agency.

Kevin Byard

  • Current Cap Hit: $15,830,000
  • Cap Savings after Restructure: $7,310,000
  • Cap Savings after Extension: $8,772,000
  • Cap Savings Pre-June 1st Cut: $7,640,000
  • Cap Savings Post-June 1st Cut: $12,500,000

The Verdict: Restructure

The Why: If you do an extension you’re more than likely looking at being tied to Kevin Byard well into his twilight years as a starting safety. I would just do a simple restructure and when the time comes after the 2024 season, see if he’s still performing at a high level at his age.

Derrick Henry

  • Current Cap Hit: $15,000,000
  • Cap Savings after Restructure: $5,482,500
  • Cap Savings after Extension: $8,772,000
  • Cap Savings Pre-June 1st Cut: $9,000,000
  • Cap Savings Post-June 1st Cut: $12,000,000

The Verdict: Restructure

The Why: You don’t need to extend a running back in this league, but I think you do ned to free up some cap space on thee contract for 2022. It doesn’t seem like much, but at this point every bit helps, and go ahead and keep the contract rolling, but make it more manageable.

Rodger Saffold

  • Current Cap Hit: $12,816,176
  • Cap Savings after Restructure: $0
  • Cap Savings after Extension: $7,104,000
  • Cap Savings Pre-June 1st Cut: $10,441,176
  • Cap Savings Post-June 1st Cut: $10,441,176

The Verdict: I lean with cut Saffold

The Why: Rodger Saffold is in the last year of his contract, so the question becomes: What can you stomach if you’re the Titans? Saffold has declared on Twitter he is not retiring, but can he be relied on to stay healthy?

This is a tough one to me, I decided to cut bait with Saffold for the purposes of this exercise, but it would not surprise me at all if they extended him for 1 or 2 seasons to get his number down, and keep some continuity.

Denico Autry

  • Current Cap Hit: $8,650,000
  • Cap Savings after Restructure: $2,515,000
  • Cap Savings after Extension: $4,024,000
  • Cap Savings Pre-June 1st Cut: $2,750,000
  • Cap Savings Post-June 1st Cut: $4,750,000

The Verdict: Restructure

The Why: Denico Autry is old. While that didn’t show up on Sundays this year, we all know Father Time can come for anyone at any time. So let’s just do a restructure and then look at Autry for another year.

Jackrabbit

  • Current Cap Hit: $10,111,765
  • Cap Savings after Restructure: $0
  • Cap Savings after Extension: $4,304,000
  • Cap Savings Pre-June 1st Cut: $6,911,765
  • Cap Savings Post-June 1st Cut: $6,911,765

The Verdict: Cut

The Why: While Jackrabbit was not nearly as bad as fans make him out to be, his contract is an easy cut for me. There’s no other option, and with Caleb Farley out in the wings, and having success with guys off the street, there is just no reason to keep Jackrabbit at $10.1 million cap hit.

Kendall Lamm

  • Current Cap Hit: $4,002,941
  • Cap Savings after Restructure: $0
  • Cap Savings after Extension: $1,344,000
  • Cap Savings Pre-June 1st Cut: $3,152,941
  • Cap Savings Post-June 1st Cut: $3,152,941

The Verdict: Send him to the sun

The Why: Absolutely cut Kendall Lamb. If you disagree feel free to send messages to our HR Department: @RyanOnBroadway.

Jeffery Simmons

  • Current Cap Hit: $4,029,376
  • Cap Savings after Restructure: $0
  • Cap Savings after Extension: $1,005,500
  • Cap Savings Pre-June 1st Cut: $0
  • Cap Savings Post-June 1st Cut: $0

The Verdict: Do nothing

The Why: There is no reason right now to even full with an extension. Use the 5th year option and move on, and do a contract later.

A.J. Brown

  • Current Cap Hit: $4,518,703
  • Cap Savings after Restructure: $0
  • Cap Savings after Extension: $2,416,800
  • Cap Savings Pre-June 1st Cut: $3,986,000
  • Cap Savings Post-June 1st Cut: $3,986,000

The Verdict: Extension

The Why: This was almost a do nothing, because I don’t feel its an absolute necessity to have an extension done this offseason, but really, why not. Just do it, save some money with an extension and make everyone happy.

Conclusion

With the moves above the Titans would be able to have plenty of room to make this team into an instant Super Bowl favorite using this money to make some big free agent splashes, like maybe getting Chris Godwin, or getting one or two of the top flight tight ends available.

While I don’t predict every move chosen above will get done, I do think its a realistic possibility these 13 players’ contracts will be dealt with in some form or fashion.

Comments

  1. Great research and agree with most of the recommendations. I would not touch Tannehill. The downside of a flat restructure is just increasing the cap hit and dead money for the next year in the contract. I would cut Saffold, Jenkins and Lamm and save 20m. Extend Lewan to make it 30m. If you don’t touch Tannehill or Henry then it make ms it easier to move on following next year. A net of 24m in space should be enough to sign Landry and WR3/ TE and some FA depth pieces.

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