Days after holding a multi-tackle workout, the Titans are moving forward with a potential right-side stopgap solution. The team agreed to terms with Chris Hubbard on Thursday night, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets.
The NFL hitting Titans starting right tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere with a six-game gambling suspension will force another change to a position group that has already experienced some turnover. Hubbard, 32, will attempt to provide some stability in what could be his first true starting opportunity in years.
Formerly with the Steelers and Browns, Hubbard has worked mostly as a backup in recent seasons. Cleveland’s plan to install the ex-Pittsburgh right tackle starter at the position did not pan out, but the Browns kept the veteran around for five seasons. Although Hubbard has only played in five games over the past two years, he still generated free agency interest. The Colts met with the nine-year vet earlier this offseason, and the Titans brought in he and George Fant for their RT audition last weekend. While Fant has received considerably more 2020s run, Hubbard is headed to Nashville.
A former UDFA out of UAB, Hubbard has made 49 career starts. Most of them came during the late 2010s, when the Steelers plugged him in as a Marcus Gilbert sub and when the Browns turned to him after their free agency commitment. Cleveland added Hubbard on a five-year, $36.5MM deal and gave him 29 starts from 2018-19. But the team reworked Hubbard’s deal in 2020, amounting to a pay cut, and stashed him behind new additions Jack Conklin and Jedrick Wills. Hubbard suffered a dislocated kneecap late in the 2020 season and underwent surgery to repair a torn triceps sustained in 2021, but he re-signed with the Browns last year.
First-round pick Peter Skoronski worked at both guard and tackle this offseason, but most NFL scouts viewed the Northwestern prospect as an interior O-lineman. Despite Skoronski never playing guard for the Wildcats, the Titans are using him at the position. Rather than tinker with the young blocker’s development, Tennessee will add a rental piece of sorts to fill in for Petit-Frere. Hubbard also made starts at guard for the Browns, offering potential depth when Petit-Frere returns.
Even if Hubbard is not up to the task to start, the Titans will still open the season with at least four new O-line regulars. The team released longtime pillars Taylor Lewan and Ben Jones and let four-year starter Nate Davis sign with the Bears in free agency. Aaron Brewer, who is slated to slide from guard to center, stands to be the only returner up front come Week 1. With the Titans otherwise thin for RT options, Hubbard could join offseason additions Skoronski, Andre Dillard and Daniel Brunskill in the lineup.