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The Tennessee Titans have had an amazing day managing the salary cap.
The club started the day near the bottom of the league in cap space, projected to be about $23.5 million under water on the looming $224.8 million salary cap for 2023. And with the release of four players on Wednesday, the team has created roughly $39 million in cap space.
That rocketed the Titans from 29th in overall cap space to 12th, according to figures compiled by spotrac.com.
That is quite a day’s work.
The Titans are obviously preparing for the March 15 start of the new league year by cutting left tackle Taylor Lewan, receiver Robert Woods, linebacker Zach Cunningham, and kicker Randy Bullock.
But before we start thinking a full-fledged rebuild under new general manager Ran Carthon has begun let’s pump the brakes a second.
The Titans definitely are in line for something of a rebuild. They did what they could in being the No. 1 seed in the AFC a couple of years ago and making it to the AFC Championship game in 2019.
But a rebuild would have to start with the trading or releasing of Ryan Tannehill. And probably outside linebacker Bud Dupree. And others.
Taylor Lewan Struggled With Injuries
The release of a kicker and two 30-somethings, who have been injured and offer cap relief in the transaction, is not that. That’s another day at the office managing the salary cap.
The Titans are moving on from Lewan. The move was first reported on the left tackle’s podcast, “Bussin’ With The Boys.”
The reason because the former three-time Pro Bowl player has been injured a lot lately.
Lewan has missed 31 games the past three seasons. Releasing him saves the Titans $14.841 million on the salary cap.
Woods, meanwhile, was a free agency bust. He was brought to the team to try and replace the loss of A.J. Brown in the short term.
The Titans unwisely traded Brown to the Eagles.
Woods didn’t fill the void. He didn’t even fill the role as a bridge receiver while rookie Treylon developed.
And he’s not sweating his departure from Tennessee.
Woods scored only 2 TDs and dipped under 10 yards per catch average for the first time in his 10 NFL seasons.
Woods Failed To Fill A.J. Brown Void
So the divorce lets Woods go into free agency. And it saves the Titans roughly $12 million in cap space.
That’s a lot of fat the Titans just trimmed off their 2023 cap. It’s a good day’s work with relatively little pain.
Cunningham spent the end of the 2021 season and an injury plagued 2022 season with the Titans. He played only six games and collected 24 tackles last season.
The Titans are saving $8.9 million against the salary cap by releasing Cunningham.