If the Titans rebuild this offseason, what could that look like?

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The Titans could still make the playoffs this season, despite their five-game losing streak amid a stunning collapse. If the Jaguars win in the regular-season finale, they’ll clinch a third straight AFC South title, a feat the franchise hasn’t accomplished in 60 years, and host a playoff game. Anything can happen from here. This is something to look forward to in the short term.

In the long run, though? A possible rebuild is what the Titans should look at. It’s what they need

The defense has shown promise regardless of personnel, but the offense has been terrible, needing a complete reimagining.

Tennessee’s offensive game has underwhelmed. Not enough talent at the pass catching spots. And generally, the team relies on a few high-priced veterans and high draft picks who are on injured reserve and/or consistently miss large chunks of time. The depth behind these players is also lacking. In the combined 2020 and ’21 draft classes, the Titans added just one player who has started at least 10 games (cornerback Kristian Fulton).

So what could a Titans rebuild look like? A few pillars:

pass from Ryan Tannehill

Malik Willis had a poor performance in Sunday’s stunning loss to the Texans, but it’s still possible the Titans will commit to giving the dual-threat quarterback a chance to be the starter in 2023. It can be argued that the his three starts, and his small cameos in two other games, so far aren’t enough to decide his starting potential. Playing behind a bad offensive line hasn’t helped either.

My thought process: Willis gets a challenger for the QB1 role in 2023 in a cheap veteran, and Tannehill, the starter since midway through the 2019 season, gets traded. According to Over The Cap , the Titans could save $17.8 million against the 2023 salary cap by releasing him in the offseason. But they could get the same cap savings by dealing him out, and getting a return from a player who has been a productive quarterback.

That way, the Titans can use the cap space from parting ways with Tannehill (and other potential cap losses) to maximize the talent around Willis, giving him the best chance to succeed. If he doesn’t pan out, the Titans could pick a first-round quarterback in 2024.

keep Derrick Henry

Henry will have his age-29 season next year. This is usually a turn off for NFL franchises, especially with running backs who have handled a heavy workload. But he is still among the best in his position.

After missing nine games last season with a Jones fracture, Henry has rushed a league-leading 319 times for 1,429 yards (second in the NFL) and 13 touchdowns (second among running backs) through 15 games. His production has remained at an elite level despite a struggling offensive line and injuries.

Henry remains the team’s top offensive playmaker and is under contract through 2023, when he is due $10.5 million in base salary. He also does not expect to have a large market considering his age and position. The Panthers got a second-, third-, fourth- and fifth-round pick for Christian McCaffrey, but he’s two years younger than Henry, has less wear and tear as a running back and is a much better pass catcher than the Titans star.

Tennessee would be better off keeping Henry through the final year of his deal, then reevaluating the running back position in 2024.

keep Taylor Lewan with a pay cut (if possible)

Taylor Lewan was a candidate for the Titans’ cap victim a few months ago, but the team’s drastic decline in left tackle makes the conversation more difficult.

Dennis Daley, the starter at the spot since Lewan tore his ACL in Week 2, has struggled mightily. Leads all NFL offensive tackles in sacks (12) and pressures (47) allowed this season, according to Pro Football Focus. Dillon Radunz, a 2021 second-round pick, suffered a season-ending knee injury (apparently a torn ACL) in Week 15 against the Chargers, and the timing of the injury casts doubt on his 2023 season. Tennessee doesn’t have a long-term answer at the critical left tackle spot.

Under his current contract, Lewan is due $14.8 million in base salary through 2023, the final year of the extension he signed in 2018, according to Over The Cap. This fully counts against the salary cap. If the Titans can go back to work last year on a team-friendly deal, that would be the best case scenario. It would allow Tennessee to draft an offensive tackle without the pressure to play the rookie right away and avoid overpaying for a left tackle in the middle of a rebuild.

The Titans also face big questions across the interior offensive line — at center and both guard spots. Will Ben Jones return in the back half of the two-year extension he signed in the spring? Who will be the left guard? Will right guard Nate Davis, an unrestricted free agent this offseason, stay in Nashville?

Part with a host of veterans

Tannehill and Lewan aside, here are the veterans it would make the most sense to release, based on performance, injury history and cap impact, and the savings that would come as a result:

Outside linebacker Bud Dupree: $9.3 million

Wide receiver Robert Woods: $12 million

Defenseman Zach Cunningham: $9.2 million

Offensive lineman Jamarco Jones: $1.3 million

Releasing those four players alone would create more than $31.8 million in salary cap space, according to OverTheCap, leaving Tennessee cap space to bolster its roster elsewhere.

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Ben Arthur is the AFC South reporter for FOX Sports. He previously worked for The Tennessean/USA TODAY Network, where he was the Titans beat writer for a year and a half. He covered the Seattle Seahawks for SeattlePI.com for three seasons (2018-20) before moving to Tennessee. You can follow Ben on Twitter at @benyarthur.

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