After this year, players attached to fifth-year options will be protected from free-of-charge releases, but the Titans will take advantage of that opportunity in its final year. They are set to release former first-round pick Adoree’ Jackson.
The Titans are cutting both Jackson and starting right tackle Dennis Kelly, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. Jackson’s option season was set to cost the Titans $10.2M. They will turn that entire amount into cap space, a luxury that will not be available to teams beginning next year.
This is certainly not a surprise, however. Jackson played in only three games last season; a knee injury cost the 2017 first-round pick most of his season. The Titans shelved Jackson on IR ahead of Week 1, and although they activated him off the injured list in early November, Jackson continued to miss time. He will enter free agency at a bad time, coming off his worst season and doing so after the salary cap dropped by $16M. Some interest figures to come Jackson’s way, however. He graded as Pro Football Focus’ No. 8 overall corner in 2019 and landed in the advanced metrics site’s top 40 corners in ’17 and ’18.
Tennessee will unveil a new group of corners next year. The Titans have now cut Jackson and Malcolm Butler. They will also have a new right tackle. After the Titans passed on Jack Conklin‘s fifth-year option, they drafted Isaiah Wilson in the 2020 first round. After a disastrous rookie year, Wilson is now with the Dolphins. The Titans used Kelly at right tackle throughout last season, elevating him from the swing role he previously held. Kelly’s most recent extension ran through the 2022 season.
Overall, the Titans will create more than $17M in cap space by making these moves. That will bump the team’s total to nearly $30M, per OverTheCap. They also will have to replace two key cogs.