Titans To Move Nicholas Petit-Frere To Left Tackle, Demote Andre Dillard

The Titans completed an offensive line revamp this offseason, jettisoning fixtures Taylor Lewan and Ben Jones to create cap space and then letting four-year right guard Nate Davis leave in free agency. Nicholas Petit-Frere‘s gambling suspension meant Tennessee started four new blockers in Week 1.

Although Peter Skoronski represented the biggest offseason investment up front, the Titans gave Andre Dillard a three-year, $29MM deal to replace Lewan. Drafted to take over for Jason Peters in Philadelphia, Dillard was never able to do so and ended up a swing tackle. While Dillard still drew interest at past trade deadlines and created a decent market for himself in free agency, the Titans are preparing to demote him in Week 8.

Tennessee is set to move Petit-Frere from right to left tackle, Mike Vrabel said (via ESPN.com’s Turron Davenport). While Dillard has experience as a right tackle, playing the position at points in Philly, Vrabel confirmed he will slide to a swing role. The Titans signed Chris Hubbard this summer, and despite the former Steelers and Browns starter settling in as a backup during his final years in Cleveland, he has manned the right tackle job throughout the season.

The NFL reinstated Petit-Frere earlier than expected, updating its gambling policy in-season. The Titans did not activate the second-year blocker when first eligible, waiting a week, and still started Hubbard at RT in Week 6. Petit-Frere played 32 snaps off the bench. This will be a big step for Petit-Frere, who finished his Ohio State career as the team’s right tackle starter. He beat out Dillon Radunz for the Titans’ RT gig before the 2022 season and started 16 games at the position for the injury-battered team last season, but with Will Levis (feat. Malik Willis) likely to start Sunday, it will be Petit-Frere guard his blind side.

Dillard’s demotion represents an obvious step back for the former first-round pick. Pro Football Focus ranks Dillard outside the top 60 among tackles and has charged him with a whopping seven sacks allowed through six games. Despite Hubbard’s 2020s inactivity coming into this season, PFF ranks him 24th overall among tackles this season. The Titans guaranteed Dillard $10MM. While this demotion would put the four-year Eagle on the 2024 cut radar, the Titans would eat at least $4MM in dead money next year even in a post-June 1 release scenario.

Another intriguing option for Tennessee would be to relocate Skoronski to left tackle, where he starred at Northwestern. Skoronski did some tackle work during the Titans’ offseason program, but Vrabel squashed the notion he would move off guard. The college tackle whom most scouts projected as an NFL guard has been the Titans’ left guard this season.

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