Who's returning for 2022? Predicting who Tennessee Titans will re-sign, tender for next season

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Who will be back for the Tennessee Titans in 2022? Who’s headed elsewhere?

The Titans will have 31 free agents when the new league year begins in March, including 24 unrestricted free agents. Four players will be restricted free agents and three others will be exclusive rights free agents.

Unrestricted free agents, players with at least four accrued seasons (an accrued season is being on the roster for six or more weeks), are free to sign with any team. Restricted free agents, who have three accrued seasons but fewer than four, can be offered a one-year contract by their original team, which can retain the right to match an offer from another team. Exclusive rights free agents have less than three credited seasons (three weeks on the active roster) and can only sign a contract with their original team if tendered.

Here's an early prediction of who the Titans will re-sign or tender (in the case of restricted and exclusive rights free agents) for next season:

Unrestricted

C Ben Jones

Re-sign? Yes

The Titans’ offensive line had many issues in 2021 – the unit could look very different next season – but Jones was not one of them. One of the most underrated centers in the NFL, Jones was one of two O-linemen to start every game for Tennessee. Coaches and players spoke glowingly of his toughness and leadership.

ILB Jayon Brown

Re-sign? Yes

Brown played just 10 games due to injury and saw his role diminished by the end of the regular season. Despite the down year, he might still be the Titans’ best coverage linebacker. He figures to be cheap to re-sign after 2021 struggles.

TE Anthony Firkser

Re-sign? No

Firkser had his opportunity to be the No. 1 tight end but didn't meet expectations. His numbers were down in targets, receptions and receiving yards in 2021. Geoff Swaim supplanted him as the top option at tight end.

ILB Rashaan Evans

Re-sign? No

Evans recorded his first two career interceptions this season, but his performance continued to decline in 2021 amid an injury-riddled campaign. He missed five games.

The Titans’ core at inside linebacker appears to be set with Zach Cunningham, David Long Jr. and Monty Rice.

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TE Geoff Swaim

Re-sign? Yes

Swaim was Tennessee’s best and most available tight end this season, posting career-high receiving numbers in targets, receptions, yards and touchdowns.

OLB Harold Landry

Re-sign? Yes

This is a no-brainer, though Landry will be expensive and the Titans will have to sort out cap implications of bringing him back.

Landry has been the Titans’ sack leader for three consecutive seasons, including a career-high 12 in 2021.

LS Morgan Cox

Re-sign? Yes

Cox wasn’t talked about this season and that’s a good thing if you’re a long snapper. The Collierville native received All-Pro votes.

WR Marcus Johnson

Re-sign? Yes

Johnson was the Titans’ best receiver in training camp and flashed promise in the regular season before landing on season-ending injured reserve in November. Tennessee needs depth behind A.J. Brown and Julio Jones.

LB Nick Dzubnar

Re-sign? Yes

Dzubnar’s 379 special teams snaps in 2021 (82.7%) led the Titans.

S Matthias Farley

Re-sign? Yes

Like Dzubnar, Farley is one of Tennessee’s core special teamers. He played 77.7% of special teams snaps, second to Dzubnar.

PK Randy Bullock

Tennessee Titans kicker Randy Bullock (14) kicks a field goal during the third quarter of an AFC divisional playoff game at Nissan Stadium Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022 in Nashville, Tenn.
Tennessee Titans kicker Randy Bullock (14) kicks a field goal during the third quarter of an AFC divisional playoff game at Nissan Stadium Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022 in Nashville, Tenn.

Re-sign? Yes

Bullock’s 83.9% success rate on field goals ranked 21st in the NFL, but he was clutch for the Titans – he hit three game-winners – and provided long-awaited stability for Tennessee’s kicking game.

CB Buster Skrine

Re-sign? No

Skrine played well as a late-season fill-in, but his snaps dwindled down the stretch. The Titans have their nickelback of the future in Elijah Molden and the team could look to upgrade the outside cornerback spot, which will have 2021 first-round pick Caleb Farley back next season.

OLB Ola Adeniyi

Re-sign? Yes

Adeniyi was one of the Titans’ best special teams players and provides strong depth at outside linebacker. He was Tennessee’s sack leader early in 2021.

CB Greg Mabin

Re-sign? No

The Titans should look to upgrade the cornerback spot.

LB B.J. Bello

Re-sign? No

Bello didn’t play for Tennessee after landing on injured reserve in training camp.

LB Dylan Cole

Re-sign? Yes

There will be changes coming to the Titans’ special teams unit, but Cole was a bright spot in nine games. He forced a fumble on the second-half kickoff in Week 10 against New Orleans.

WR Chester Rogers

Re-sign? No

Rogers had some strong punt returns in the second half of the season, but he was inconsistent overall and underwhelmed as a receiver.

DT Kyle Peko

Re-sign? Yes

Peko was one of the underrated members of the defensive line, coming on late in the season. He had sacks in consecutive games in Weeks 17-18.

DT Trevon Coley

Re-sign? No

Coley had a strong training camp but didn’t play in the regular season. He landed on injured reserve during training camp.

TE MyCole Pruitt

Re-sign? No

Coach Mike Vrabel noted Pruitt would be out for awhile after he suffered a gruesome ankle injury in Week 17 against the Dolphins.

RB Dontrell Hilliard

Re-sign? Yes

Hilliard helped stabilize the Titans’ running back room when Derrick Henry got hurt and provides value in the return game.

RB D’Onta Foreman

Re-sign? No

The Titans would surely love Foreman back, but he probably earned himself a starter’s job after excelling as a fill-in for Henry.

WR Cameron Batson

Re-sign? No

Batson has found a way to stick around the last few seasons, but the Titans need more quality depth at receiver.

S Dane Cruikshank

Re-sign? No

Cruikshank could have an opportunity to start elsewhere. He excelled covering tight ends for Tennessee.

Restricted

FB Khari Blasingame

Tender? No

The Titans have an up-and-coming fullback in Tory Carter.

PK Sam Ficken

Tender? No

Bullock is the Titans’ kicker.

RT David Quessenberry

Tender? No

Tennessee could be in the market for both starting offensive tackle spots.

OLB Derick Roberson

Tender? No

Adeniyi should stick around and 2021 fourth-rounder Rashad Weaver will be back next season.

Exclusive rights

DL Teair Tart

Tender? Yes

Tart started 10 games for the Titans in 2021.

WR Nick Westbrook-Ikhine

Tender? Yes

Westbrook-Ikhine has far exceeded expectations. He was the Titans’ second-leading receiver behind A.J. Brown in 2021.

QB Logan Woodside

Tender? No

The Titans need to bolster their quarterback depth.

Ben Arthur covers the Tennessee Titans for The USA TODAY Network. Contact him at barthur@gannett.com and follow him on Twitter at @benyarthur.

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Who will return? Predicting free agents Tennessee Titans will re-sign