Originally written on Total Titans  |  Last updated 11/4/14
I started putting together a post on how the Titans spent by position in 2012, like the one I did last offseason, when something I'd noticed before struck me. There were 30 players who played at least 300 snaps on offense or defense for the Titans in 2012. And where did the Titans find those players? Four of them were first-round picks playing on their rookie contract. That's Jake Locker, Kenny Britt, Kendall Wright, and Derrick Morgan. Three of them were second-round picks playing on their rookie contract. That's Sen'Derrick Marks, Akeem Ayers, and Zach Brown. Five of them were third-round picks playing on their rookie contract. That's Jared Cook, Damian Williams, Jurrell Casey, Mike Martin, and Ryan Mouton. Three of them were fourth-round picks playing on their rookie contract. That's Colin McCarthy, Coty Sensabaugh, and Alterraun Verner. Twelve of them were players not on their rookie deal signed to a contract with an average per year of at least $3 million. As I identified in last year's salary cap post, that's roughly the rate for a starter in the NFL. The players in this category were Matt Hasselbeck, Chris Johnson, Craig Stevens, Nate Washington, Leroy Harris, Steve Hutchinson, Michael Roos, David Stewart, Kamerion Wimbley, Will Witherspoon, Jason McCourty, and Michael Griffin. That leaves the Titans with three players who played at least 300 snaps on offense on defense on whom they did not use a high pick and whom they were not paying a lot of money. One of those three was Deuce Lutui, who was an in-season pickup and only ended up playing any snaps at all because the starter, Leroy Harris, got hurt. One of them was Fernando Velasco. There may have been something like competition for the starting center job, but my belief is Velasco only played a significant role because Eugene Amano, whose contract had an APY of over $3 million (to say the least), got hurt. Take them away, and there was only one player the Titans did not invest premium resources to acquire that they gave a significant role to in 2012, strong safety Jordan Babineaux. And as we've seen from the deals this offseason, Babineaux got an APY of less than $3 million because non-premium strong safeties don't get contracts with an APY of $3 million. The fundamental constraint of building a team in the NFL is limited resources. You only get so many high draft picks and so much cap space. To build a great team, you have to utilize your resources as efficiently as possible. This can mean making hard choices, paying some players and prioritizing some positions. The flipside of those hard choices is not paying other players and not prioritizing other positions. What the Titans told us with the team they fielded in 2012 is they don't really believe in making those choices. At every single position on the team (and I could throw in punter and kicker here as well if my criteria didn't exclude them), they fielded either a player making a starting-type wage or a high draft pick. Every. Single. One. The Tennessee Titans seem to have their own idea of value, and it's that there isn't any such thing. As a fan, I really hope they're right about that, but as an analyst, I'm pretty sure it's almost impossible to field a good team that way. The result in 2012 was not pretty, but we shall see what 2013 brings.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

13 amazing NFL stats from Week 16

JJ Watt's bloody face defines 2014 campaign

Dominic Raiola insists he didn't intentionally stomp opponent

Jets call themselves the best 3-12 team in NFL history

Cam Newton calls out 'classless' Panthers fans

Report: 49ers to part ways with Harbaugh after season finale

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Brad Stevens shoots down rumors he's headed to Hoosiers

Jameis Winston cleared in code of conduct case

Sherman: Patrick Peterson would be benched on Seahawks

Fans struck by lightning after Buccaneers-Packers game

Report: Philip Rivers playing through painful back injury

Report: Bears could have interest in Jim Harbaugh

NFL flexes Bengals-Steelers into 'Sunday Night Football' slot

Miami Dolphins electing to keep Joe Philbin a smart decision

Coughlin tells Beckham Jr to tone down TD celebrations

WATCH: Lynch ‘thanks the media for asking’ questions

10 takeaways from NFL Week 16

Tony Romo leads Dallas Cowboys to NFC East title

Ole Miss QB arrested after fighting, threatening bouncers

WATCH: Marshawn Lynch's ridiculous TD run

WATCH: Steelers' Gay draws flag for taunting teammate

WATCH: Three players ejected after Giants-Rams fight

WATCH: Dominic Raiola stomps on Bears player's ankle

WATCH: Arian Foster throws TD pass, drops scoreboard taunt

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

13 amazing NFL stats from Week 16

JJ Watt's bloody face defines 2014 campaign

Jets claim to be best 3-12 team ever

10 takeaways from NFL Week 16

Cam Newton calls out 'classless' Panthers fans

Raiola stomps on Bears player's ankle

Bears interested in Jim Harbaugh?

Shanahan to return to 2015?

Browns interested in drafting Mariota?

Mullen wears funny Christmas sweater

RG3 returning to Redskins?

Tom Izzo hot after bad loss

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.