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Indianapolis Colts Release Five Players; Should Tennessee Titans Pursue Any of Them? Local Fan’s Take
The release of Peyton Manning was a sign that the Indianapolis Colts were rebuilding. What about the releases of Dallas Clark, Joseph Addai, Gary Brackett, Melvin Bullitt and Curtis Painter? That just confirms it.
The Colts have reportedly released the aforementioned players on March 9, 2012. They're also reportedly in trade discussions with teams who are interested in 32-year-old defensive end Dwight Freeney. That's a little bizarre when one considers that they just re-signed Robert Mathis to a four-year, $36-million contract. Regardless, the Colts don't want to pay Freeney's $19.04-million salary for the 2012-13 NFL season.
The Tennessee Titans are familiar with all of these players since both teams are AFC South rivals. Some of these players were the focus points for a perennial playoff contender that won a Super Bowl during the 2006-07 season. Should the Titans snatch any of these players?
Let's take a brief look at the possibilities:
The Titans aren't a logical destination for Painter.
The Titans recently re-signed backup tight-end Craig Stevens to a four-year, $15-million contract. Jared Cook came within nine yards of breaking the franchise's all-time regular-season record for tight ends with 759 yards. They have a reliable option with Daniel Graham as their goal-line specialist. One must also consider how much Clark benefited from Manning's presence.
The Titans aren't a logical destination for Clark.
The Titans had the NFL's 31st-ranked run offense as they were one of two teams who averaged fewer than 90 rushing yards per game. However, Joseph Addai is an oft-injured tailback who will turn 29-years-old this offseason. Addai hasn't rushed for more than 828 yards since the 2007-08 season. Addai has also missed 12 games in the past two seasons.
The Titans already have two up-and-coming linebackers with Akeem Ayers and Colin McCarthy. While they could use a replacement (or upgrade) for backup linebacker Barrett Ruud, Brackett would be a bit risky because he's spent his entire career in a cover-2 defense. The Colts have also never been known for having a strong run defense. Brackett will turn 32-years-old this offseason.
This isn't a logical destination for Brackett. The Titans can find more intriguing options in the middle and lower rounds of the draft. Those players would be cheaper, younger and have more upside.
The Titans already gave the franchise tag to Michael Griffin. They're also expected to re-sign Jordan Babineaux once free agency officially gets underway. They'd still need some depth in their defensive backfield. Would Melvin Bullitt fit that bill?
Bullitt is the most surprising of these releases as he's only 27-years-old. However, Bullitt has only played in six games over the past two seasons. The 2008-09 season was the only time in his career where he had more than one interception or one pass deflection. At 6-1 and 202 pounds, he's kind of undersized for a defensive back outside of the cover-2 defense.
Maybe the Titans will see enough in him to sign him as cheap depth. However, I wouldn't put much stock in this oft-injured safety.
The Colts aren't trading Freeney to a divisional rival. Besides, the Titans can save their draft picks and just go after Mario Williams if they want a pass-rush specialist. Williams would also be a long-term option since he's only 27-years-old.
Joshua Huffman graduated from Middle Tennessee State University as a marketing major in 2009. He's been a Middle Tennessee resident from 1986-88 and 2001-present. He lived in the Upper Peninsula and Northern Wisconsin from 1988-01 and for approximately eight months in 2009-10 as he completed a 20-game volunteer position with the USHL's Green Bay Gamblers. His favorite sports organizations include the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Cubs, Nashville Predators and Tennessee Titans. He can be found on Twitter HERE.
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