What if? BB possible MO
The Titans have signed four name FAs recently, to pretty hefty contracts (Givens, Thornton, Mawae, and Hope). They have to make a decision on McNair soon, and publicly they say they're keeping him.
Unless they came to a renegotiation agreement while I was on vacation, Tennessee is going to have to make a decision with LB Keith Bulluck. He's set to count huge against the cap. This could explain why they gave Thornton, a similar player, the contract they gave him.
Perhaps BB foresaw this happening, and intends to put a hard charge on Bulluck? If I could put one linebacker on the NFL on the Pats, it would be him. Maybe it's time to bring the New York native back to the Northeast. It certainly would explain the McGinest decision.
Bulluck, like Vrabel, would excel at either LB position, giving us a great deal of flexibility.
Again, this is all contingent on Tennessee having to release him.
I'm fairly confident in what's going on, although I probably don't have a clue :)
I don't think the Patriots have any particular player they expect to use the cap money on. And it's entirely possible they'll get caught with their pants down with nowhere to spend the money. In which case they'll have to make some unattainable LTBE bonuses and save the money for next year. However, they have put themselves in a position of having lots of money and hoping that something breaks with a cut or a trade possibility. Expecting some awesome cuts is a risky game. I think we simply don't want to overspend on anyone, are hoping for an attractive veteran to break free, and can always shift the money to next year through LTBE bonuses if necessary.
Reseach shows that Bulluck carries an approximate 7.1 cap charge this season. Right now, on the top 51, the Titans are about 4 million under the cap, so even with McNair eating up 23 million dollars(!) of cap room, they could still afford to keep Bulluck. They are going to have to sign the #3 pick in the draft, almost certainly either Leinhart or Cutler, which will be expensive. Worth keeping an eye on, but not worth getting hopes up.
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