As our Luke Adams wrote at the end of May, Titans offensive tackle Michael Roos told Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean that he will be in Tennessee for one more year. As Adams observed, Roos’ statement certainly indicates that an extension is not on the horizon for him, which is not surprising given the four-year deal the team handed out to Michael Oher in free agency and the fact that the team selected Taylor Lewan in the first round of last month’s draft.
However, whether Roos will, as he says, stay in a Titans uniform for one more season may still be in doubt. Unless someone in the Tennessee front office told Roos that the team planned on keeping him on board, Roos remains a prime candidate to be traded or released. As our Ben Levine pointed out several weeks ago, Roos checked in at number four on NFL.com’s Chris Wesserling’s list of the top 10 players most likely to be traded this summer.
Roos, 31, is entering the final year of a six-year, $43MM deal, and he carries a 2014 salary cap hit of $6.62MM. That salary would make it difficult for Tennessee to deal him, and considering that the team would not take on any dead money by simply cutting Roos, a release is probably more likely than a trade at this point.
It is odd, though, that the team would consider cutting ties with him at all. Although he finished in the middle of the pack among offensive tackles in 2013 according to Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics (subscription required), he finished as the third-best tackle in 2012 and has anchored the team’s offensive line for years. If nothing else, he provides top-quality depth if Lewan should struggle out of the gate–or if the team wanted to bring Lewan along more slowly–or if Oher should falter (although Roos has not played right tackle since he was a rookie in 2005, it is difficult to believe he would be a downgrade from Oher at that position).
In sum, then, the Titans are in full control of the situation at this point. If they hang onto Roos, they have either a quality starter or an excellent insurance policy. If they need to create come cap space for whatever reason, they can release Roos with no negative cap ramifications. Or, if a team gets desperate enough later on in camp–Wesserling listed the Ravens and Panthers as potential landing spots for Roos if Tennessee were to trade him, and both teams are still unsettled at at least one tackle position–it is possible that the Titans could end up with a late round pick in 2015. A rare win-win-win scenario in today’s NFL.
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