Titans Cutdown Analysis

The Tennessee Titans trimmed their roster down today, along with the other 31 NFL teams, as the deadline has come and gone for all teams to get down to 53 players. Now this doesn’t mean the Titans are done, not by a long shot, but let’s quickly break down the cuts. Here is complete list courtesy of Jim Wyatt over at TennesseeTitans.com.

The Released/Waived List:

  • WR Mason Kinsey
  • WR Dez Fitzpatrick
  • WR Fred Brown
  • TE Jared Pinkney
  • RB Javian Hawkins
  • TE Miller Forristall
  • FB Tory Carter
  • DL Naquan Jones
  • OL Cole Banwart
  • OL Jordan Roos
  • LB Jan Johnson
  • LB Wyatt Ray
  • OL Christian DiLauro
  • OL Derwin Gray
  • DB Jamal Carter
  • DL Woodrow Hamilton
  • DB Briean Boddy-Calhoun

The Draft Pick

I really thought Dez Fitzpatrick may had done enough to stick on the initial 53 man roster. Especially with the amount of players on the Reserve/COVID list. However, as the day started and it got closer to the deadline, you saw teams cutting more and more wide receivers. The Titans obviously feel that this was their best chance to get Fitzpatrick on the practice squad.

Even if it works out in their favor, this is not how Fitzpatrick’s story was supposed to go in the Titans’s mind. Hindsight is 20/20, but foresight is necessary for the draft, and while Robinson has way more hits than misses, this coming off the heels of the disastrous Isaiah Wilson pick in 2020, should tell us there are some scouting issues within their ranks.

I have talked about Fitzpatrick a lot since he has been drafted, and I am on the record that this pick was a waste and a reach. Again, I just want to reiterate, it is not Fitzpatrick’s fault. The odds were stacked against him from the get go. All of the flaws you saw on his college tape showed up through practice and in preseason games repeatedly.

His roster spot seemed to be saved somewhat after game two of the preseason, but then he couldn’t build upon the success as in the Chicago game, you could see the staff was clearly frustrated with his performance. Downing called into question him finishing plays, and of course he had that awful body catch that fell incomplete.

You hope that Fitzpatrick somehow puts it together while on the practice squad and can rebound and be what this staff thought he would be, but I have a hard time believing he will ever live up to the value that was incorrectly placed on him by the Titans.

The Good Story

I loved everything about Mason Kinsey’s game and how he progressed from year one to year two. However, despite the performances on the field during games, it was always a long shot for Kinsey to make this final roster. This tweet sums up my feeling perfectly:

If Kinsey had this type of offseason this time last year, he would’ve easily made the final 53, but he faced stiff competition ahead of him. Not only that he had two guys that can do everything he can, and showed more promise in the return game. The emergence of Chester Rogers and then Cam Batson’s last preseason game was the final nail for Kinsey.

I am not sure Mason Kinsey makes it through waivers unclaimed. His former OC got a good look at him in Atlanta and they currently have decided to keep 6 WRs, so seeing them claim Kinsey for their practice squad or even to supplant one of their horrendously bad WRs they have kept (one of them is Tajae Sharpe) wouldn’t be a surprise.

If both Kinsey and Fitzpatrick make it onto the final 53, and are needed to be called upon, I think the team would go Kinsey first in most scenarios.

The Other Offensive Skill Players

The rest of the offensive skill player cuts were total of course moves.

This team tried its best to let Fred Brown show them something, and time and time again he failed to do it on the field. With a loaded wide receiver room there was no reason that he should’ve even made the top 63 if there was a chance.

I know some people have this affinity for Jared Pinkney on Twitter, but he is an awful player. He brings nothing to the table and he was easily the guy in the TE room that you could see hit the waiver wire.

Speaking of TEs, Miller Forristall was of course cut, and he has a really great chance to make the practice squad. I think he will easily clear waivers and end up as someone they can develop like they did with Tommy Hudson, who made the team after being on the practice squad last year. I don’t expect the Titans to add a tight end to this main roster, just practice squad level players.

While Javian Hawkins had a great showing in the preseason finale, I think this is was an easy call. It was also the first cut of the day. Hawkins has some ability, and I think he would be a great addition to someone’s practice squad. Tory Carter was never really going to make this team with Khari Blasingame on it.

The Offensive OL

See what I did there? The Titans cut four offensive lineman on Tuesday, and really they should’ve been shot into the sun. Cole Banwart was the at least mildly shocking considering the state of our Center position currently, but Ben Jones must be nearing his return and of course Aaron Brewer says he’s 100% healthy. So it’s not so shocking.

The other guys are veritable who’s who of “who?”, and most are destined to be on someone’s practice squad somewhere else. I think a guy to keep an eye on for this team to possibly add is the recently cut center/guard and Super Bowl Champion, Jamil Douglas. He has experience with this team and in the scheme.

The DL

Anthony Rush, since the team went to Tampa, was always making this team. Sure, Kyle Peko getting injured made the Titans decision a little easier. However, there was always a spot secured for Rush. This team and staff loves Rush and everything he has shown all offseason and in the game. He’s not flashy, being a run stuffer rarely is going to provide some wow moments, but he is what this team wants at that interior defensive line spot.

As the offseason progressed it became more apparent that Woodrow Hamilton, and Naquan Jones weren’t going to be able to survive the cutdowns today. Naquan Jones is absolutely a guy that the Titans like and are going to want to grab him on the practice squad. In fact he may be the first announced practice squad signing. This team loves him and have been impressed with him since he arrived to rookie minicamp.

The Titans are not as desperate to add to this position group as others think. I also don’t see any players out there that are clearly better than the five this team is currently carrying. The team loves this position group as is, and so do I.

The Linebackers

Both Jan Johnson and Wyatt Ray failed to consistently play at a high level compared to the players they were fighting for spots with. Ray started off strong, and I thought after game one he was going to be able to show some flashes to fend off Derick Roberson. However, Roberson proved he is every bit the “pro” that Shane Bowen made him out to be in his press conference Saturday night.

Roberson showed flashes of his ability in 2019, but 2020 seemed to be a tough year with injuries and then just never got right. However, in the preseason games it looked like he was back to his normal self, and as a rotational guy fourth or fifth guy he is gonna be great. Ray also wasn’t beating out Ola Adeniyi, who has been nothing short of impressive this offseason.

Johnson just couldn’t find his groove on this team, but I do look at him as a potential practice squad player.

The DBs

This ended up being a little wild of a group. I think a lot of that has to do with the amount of players on the COVID-19 list, because I never would’ve expected for this team to keep six safeties and seven defensive backs.

I am slightly surprised Jamal Carter was cut, because I thought out of all the back of the roster safeties, he showed the most consistent performance week to week. I liked him over McDougald and Cruikshank who both stuck around. I also think Brady Breeze is kind of a waste of a roster spot, and will be one of the first guys cut when players come off the COVID list.

Less shocking is the release of Briean Boddy-Calhoun, but more shocking is that the team decided to keep Chris Jones. Obviously Chris Jones is just a temporary camp body, but I do find it interesting how he was able to stick around.

The Titans have meddled more with the safeties than any other position group. Having continually added and removed guys over the offseason. I don’t think the bulk of this group stays as is, especially with the amount of safeties that have been cut over the last 48 hours. I think your safe guys are Hooker, Byard, and Farley, everyone else is either expendable or possibly going on IR.

What’s Next

Well as the cutdowns are over for Tuesday, the roster churning will continue all throughout this week pretty heavily. Wednesday, teams can start claiming players off waivers to be added either to the main or practice squad rosters. From there, if you add players, you of course have to cut players.

The Titans specifically also have nine players on the Reserve/COVID list which means as those players come off the list, depending on who they are, their arrival will mean someone else’s departure. The players most in danger of being cut as people come off:

  • Matt Barkley
  • Racey McMath – will get cut as soon as he’s off the list
  • Daniel Munyer
  • Justin March-Lillard – will get cut as soon as he’s off the list
  • Chris Jones
  • Brady Breeze
  • Mehki Sargent – Unless Darrynton Evans goes to IR
  • Cam Batson – unless a WR goes on IR
  • Bradley McDougald – Unless Cruikshank goes on IR

Speaking of IR, players that are put on IR now can come off the list sooner, than they could have if they had gone on the list before the cutdown deadline. I think you could see at least 2 to 3 players go on the IR soon.

What did you think of the Titans moves today? Drop a comment below!

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