ESPN’s Dianna Russini reported on Monday that linebacker Avery Williamson turned down a four year deal worth $12 million from the Tennessee Titans.
Avery Williamson was offered a 4 year, 12 million dollar deal from the Titans. He turned it down. Told the Jets and Dolphins are interested per source. (More background from @CameronWolfe below) https://t.co/7oV0cXZ4Zg
— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) March 12, 2018
Spotrac projected earlier this off-season that Williamson will command a deal worth $9 million annually.
While I don’t think Williamson will receive quite that much in free agency, he will definitely receive more than the the $3 million a year that Tennessee offered him.
Given the Titans’ initial lowball offer, I think it’s unlikely Williamson is back in Nashville next season.
What does the Titans’ offer to Williamson mean for Jon Robinson’s plan of attack?
Just because the Titans offered Williamson only $3 million a year, doesn’t mean that’s the top amount they’re willing to pay an inside linebacker.
Williamson isn’t a three down linebacker, which is probably why Robinson is hesitant to go much higher with his offer. If Tennessee is going to spend $8 to $10 million a year on a linebacker, they’ll likely target someone like Nigel Bradham or Preston Brown.
However, it’s entirely possible that Tennessee goes after a cheap veteran inside linebacker (Gerald Hodges is a three down linebacker they could get for cheap) and then draft Boise State linebacker Leighton Vander Esch in the first round.
This would obviously be a gamble for the Titans, because there’s no guarantee Vander Esch will be available when Tennessee makes the 25th overall selection in the draft, but it’s certainly a path they could choose to take.
It’s unclear what the Titans will choose to do at the inside linebacker position moving forward, but it seems unlikely that Avery Williamson will be part of the team in 2018.
Featured image via Titans Online