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Are Titans poised to be big players in free agency?

INDIANAPOLIS -- A week before the start of NFL free agency, there is a growing buzz in media circles that the Tennessee Titans could be significant players in free agency.

And they should be. The team will have more than $60 million in cap room, the sixth-most in the NFL, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

While the class isn’t loaded after a long-term deal for Eric Berry in Kansas City and several franchise tags thinned the market, there are attractive targets at the Titans' biggest positions of need: cornerback, receiver and inside linebacker.

We do not have a sure sense of just how much they like what they have at plenty of other spots, such as right guard, along the defensive line or at safety beyond Kevin Byard. But the Titans will certainly have their limits.

“We have a game plan,” general manager Jon Robinson said. “We’ll see how that manifests itself in a week when those contracts do expire and we can have those discussions. ...

“We’ll take every situation into account. There’s always a jumping-off point somewhere when you start to have those negotiations with players. You just can’t put the team in that position from a financial standpoint. Sometimes those are the tougher decisions. Sometimes the decision to walk away is just as important as the decision to move forward. So we’ll take every situation and every scenario that arises and analyze it and do what is best for the team.”

Robinson wants to build the Titans through the draft. But he has the resources now to supplement a young roster with a free-agent class that can add to the locker room culture the Titans want, one that features dependable, team-first players.

The Titans also are heading into the third of five years during which Marcus Mariota will be an extremely cost-effective starting quarterback.

“When you can watch a free-agent player, a guy who’s actually playing against NFL players on a week-to-week basis, against us, against whoever, that makes the evaluation a little smoother,” Robinson said.

The Titans hit free-agent home runs with center Ben Jones and receiver Rishard Matthews last season. They could be taking bigger swings in seven days.