Nashville, TN – Tennessee Titans general manager Jon Robinson has had three offseasons to mold the roster to his liking and can point to tangible evidence of progress. After being named to his current post in January 2016, the team tripled its win total from 2015, going from three wins to nine wins and earning him the additional title from Amy Adams Strunk of executive vice president.
Her confidence was rewarded in 2017, when the Titans earned their first postseason berth since the 2008 season and won their first postseason game since the 2003 campaign.
The Titans enter training camp with a 90-man roster, the maximum allowed by the NFL. Of those 90 players, all but 14 have been added since Robinson took the reins of the team’s football operations in 2016.
Robinson has selected 23 total players in the last three drafts, and 20 of those picks remain with the club heading into training camp. During the same period, he has engineered 13 trades and made eight waiver claims.
Robinson’s 2018 draft class was limited to four players due to multiple trades to go up and get his targets. But the class possesses the potential to make a significant impact. It includes first-round linebacker Rashaan Evans from Alabama (22nd overall pick), second-round outside linebacker Harold Landry from Boston College (41st overall), fifth-round defensive back Dane Cruikshank from Arizona (152nd overall) and sixth-round quarterback Luke Falk from Washington State (199th overall).
The Titans’ 2018 free agent acquisitions were highlighted by a pair of former New England Patriots: cornerback Malcolm Butler and running back Dion Lewis. Butler was named to the Pro Bowl in 2015 and earned second-team Associated Press All-Pro honors in 2016. Lewis led the Patriots with 896 rushing yards in 2017, and his 4.98-yard rushing average ranked second among all running backs.
Quarterback Blaine Gabbert, (Arizona Cardinals), guard Kevin Pamphile (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), linebacker Will Compton (Washington Redskins) and defensive lineman Bennie Logan (Kansas City Chiefs) are among the additional veteran free agent acquisitions entering their first Titans training camp.
Training camp also provides an opportunity for diamonds in the rough to shine and earn a roster spot—perhaps more so in 2018 than at any other time in the last decade. The 2018 Titans enter training camp with 23 rookie free agents on the roster (as of July 20th), their highest number since 2005, when they had 25 rookie free agents report to camp. They have not had more than 15 undrafted rookies on the camp roster since 2006 (17).
Rookies and veterans alike will have all of training camp and four preseason contests to earn a spot on the team, but roster cuts loom. The NFL mandates that teams go from a limit of 90 players to a maximum of 53 on Saturday, September 1st. Clubs are allowed to form a practice squad of up to 10 players the following day.