Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, February 10, 2023

Brady retirement pushes Tannehill toward Titans

By Terry McCormick

Ryan Tannehill’s stock in Tennessee might have gotten an unexpected boost last week with the retirement of Tom Brady and the resulting fallout.

Tannehill, who I still expect to be under center in 2023 for the Titans, perhaps had his status with the team bolstered because of what happened with both Brady and the San Francisco 49ers.

Brady never seemed like a real option in Tennessee this go-round after he didn’t come here three years ago. But when Brady retired again – this time “for good” – it took one more quarterback option for the Titans or any other team off the market.

Had Brady had continued to play and decided not to return to Tampa Bay, speculation had him going to the Las Vegas Raiders or San Francisco 49ers.

Speaking of the 49ers, they had their own quarterback drama last week. For those who like to connect the dots, with Ran Carthon coming from San Francisco to be the Titans new general manager, there was speculation the Titans should try to trade for Trey Lance to be their quarterback of the present/future.

Lance, who sat most of his first season then suffered a season-ending injury early in 2022, was potentially expendable via trade with the way rookie Brock Purdy performed after being forced to take the reins in the last half of this season.

But when Purdy tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing elbow – requiring Tommy John surgery that will keep him out of the 2023 season – it suddenly makes Lance the likely starter heading into next season. The Niners doubled down on that when general manager John Lynch bid free agent Jimmy Garoppolo adieu in his season-ending press conference.

Picking at No. 11, and with only six picks in this year’s draft, the Titans likely won’t have enough draft ammunition to get up high enough to land a first-round quarterback. In fact, chances seem good that division rivals Houston and Indianapolis could well end up with Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud, the top two prospects in this year’s draft.

All that seems to point to Tannehill, high cap number and all, being the odds-on favorite to be the Titans QB again in 2023.