Most of the talk about potential additions to the Tennessee Titans’ roster this off-season has centered around edge rushers, inside linebackers and running backs.
There’s been some discussion about the offensive line, but most of that chatter has been about the Titans’ guards. Josh Kline will be an unrestricted free agent in a few weeks, while Quinton Spain will be a restricted free agent.
However, it’s very possible that Jon Robinson will look to replace center Ben Jones.
The former Georgia Bulldogs offensive lineman is under contract for two more seasons, but the Titans could release him this off-season and save around $3.6 million.
Why would the Titans move on from Jones?
There’s a cheaper, possibly better, option for the Titans at center.
Jones has done well in Nashville. He’s had some issues with low snaps, but overall he’s been solid. He was rated by Pro Football Focus as the No. 12 center in the league last season.
But the Titans will have a new offense in 2018, which will come with a new zone blocking scheme. In order to make that transition go as smoothly as possible, they need a center that knows the offense like the back of his hand.
Enter John Sullivan.
Sullivan was the Los Angeles Rams’ starting center in 2017. At 32, he was a bit of an afterthought when he signed with the Rams to play in Sean McVay/Matt LaFleur’s offense, but he proved his worth last season.
In 15 games last year, Sullivan allowed only one sack and committed only two penalties (Jones committed six penalties last season). He was rated by Pro Football Focus as the No. 10 center in the league.
A team’s center has to be the quarterback of the offensive line. Sullivan already knows the terminology and he could help Tennessee’s other offensive linemen during the installation of the new system. There isn’t a player in the league that is better suited than Sullivan to be a center in LaFleur’s offense.
It makes a ton of sense for the Titans to go after Sullivan. He’s a better fit for the new offense, he performed better than Jones last season and signing him (and releasing Jones) would likely save the Titans a total of around $2 million (Sullivan made $1 million last season).
This isn’t a move that would garner a lot of headlines, but it’s a move that would make the Titans a lot better in 2018.
Featured image via Getty Images and Tennessee Titans