Titans’ Taylor Lewan Expects To Be Released; LT Open To Returning At Reduced Rate

Ending the season with a backup-laden offensive line, the Titans are not expected to bring back their most accomplished blocker. At least, not at his current salary. Taylor Lewan said this week the Titans are prepared to release him.

The three-time Pro Bowl left tackle, who suffered ACL tears in 2020 and 2022, also said he is contemplating retirement. Even if the nine-year veteran opts to play in 2023, he will no longer be attached to the five-year, $80MM extension he signed back in July 2018.

In the next couple of weeks, I will be cut by the Tennessee Titans – that will happen,” Lewan said, via Jim Wyatt of TennesseeTitans.com. “I truly believe that in my heart of hearts. Then I have to go into a situation that I’ve never been in in my entire life: I have to weigh the pros and cons of playing football, or not playing football.”

Lewan’s contract has fallen to 11th among left tackles, but the $50MM in guarantees still rank as a top-five figure at the position. Although Lewan could collect a small sum (by NFL standards) via injury protection in the event of a release, his guarantees have run out. The Titans can save $14.8MM by cutting Lewan at any point this year. The team is $21MM-plus over the 2023 cap.

Tennessee has been unable to rely on its blindside bastion for a bit. Even as he finished the 2019 and ’21 seasons, the former first-round pick missed a combined eight games in those slates. Lewan, 31, said last year a knee issue from 2021 also never fully healed. The Michigan product was one of the game’s top left tackles during the latter part of the 2010s, however, and played an intermittent role in the Titans venturing to three straight playoff brackets from 2019-21.

The Titans also finished last season with center Ben Jones and guard Nate Davis on IR. Davis is set for free agency and projects as one of the top O-linemen available; a Davis defection could give Tennessee needs at both guard spots. Lewan, who said he has spoken with new GM Ran Carthon, did not rule out returning to the Titans after taking a pay cut. Though, his health will play a major role in determining if that path is viable.

Obviously my contract is $14MM next year,” Lewan said. “If they come back and are like, ‘If you want to come back, this is the number we’ll bring you back at,’ I’m sure there will be somewhat of a conversation of, ‘How does your knee look? Are you interested in playing?

Mike [Vrabel] and I have a fantastic relationship. Mike and I talk; we text; he makes fun of me and Will [Compton, Lewan’s podcast cohost] on a group chat on a consistent basis. It’s a great relationship. So, there will be a lot of transparency and he’ll tell me how he feels and what he thinks and if he thinks that’s a good thing for them, then there is absolutely a conversation to be had. If I was going to play another year, my preferred spot would be where I’ve been for the last nine years. I’m a loyal guy, and it would feel very uncomfortable for me to wear a different uniform.”

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