AFC South Free Agency

Although the beginning of free agency won't occur until February 27th, there have already been plenty of moves within the AFC South that could change the outlook of the division for many teams. We're going to review those moves and speculate on some other transactions that are likely to happen.

Tennessee Titans:

The 2008 AFC South champion Tennessee Titans have already made a decision on one of the key contributors to their division title, kicker Rod Bironas. The Titans have signed their strong-legged kicker to a four-year deal worth approximately $12 million, with $5 million in guaranteed money.

The Titans also decided to exercise their franchise option on tight end Bo Scaife, who caught 58 passes for 561 yards, and two touchdowns. Scaife will earn approximately $4.46 million in 2009.

The team must make a decision on both defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth and veteran quarterback Kerry Collins. Haynesworth has been the most dominant tackle in the NFL over the past two seasons and will have plenty of suitors in free agency, including Detroit and Tampa Bay, who are rumored to have the most interest, as well as plenty of useable cap dollars. The market is smaller for Collins, but he has expressed interest in returning to Tennessee.

"We'll see, we still have to work out a contract," Collins told Scout.com. "But I hope it's back in Tennessee, I really enjoy playing there and I really enjoy playing for the Titans. My family loves Nashville and I hope it will work out."


Indianapolis Colts:

The Colts failed to win the AFC South for the first time in five years, but they still managed to win 12 games and earn yet another playoff berth. Indy has secured it's defensive backfield by signing cornerback Kelvin Hayden to a wealthy, five-year, $43 million deal with approximately $23.5 million in guarantees.

Hayden's deal may have decided the fate of veteran wide receiver Marvin Harrison, who is scheduled to be a $13.4 million cap hit for the Colts. Indianapolis is expected to part ways with the veteran wideout, as he visibly lost a step in 2008 and is battling some legal issues.

"What happened with (Hayden) will certainly have an effect on what we're able to do from this point on," Colts head coach Jim Caldwell said. "Right now we're in the process of evaluating that."

Indianapolis will still have to make some tough decisions on veteran center Jeff Saturday, starting linebacker Freddy Keiaho, and running back Dominic Rhodes.


Houston Texans:

The Texans started slow, but finished very strong in 2008, and are looking to take the next step toward their first winning season and playoff berth. Houston used the franchise tag for the first time in team history on cornerback Dunta Robinson. The decision to tag Robinson became much easier when Oakland agreed to a three-year deal with Pro Bowl corner Nnamdi Asomugha. Houston is hopeful that a long-term deal can be worked out with Robinson, but if it can't, he will earn close to $10 million in 2009.

The Texans have a need for a pass rusher opposite Mario Williams, and one of the team's that Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers is rumored to have interest in is indeed Houston. The Texans have the cap room to get a deal done with Peppers, but will likely have to relinquish their first-round pick at least if a trade will be executed with Carolina.

One under the radar defensive end to keep an eye on is former Atlanta Falcon, Chauncey Davis. Davis would represent an upgrade over what the Texans currently have at the position.

The team will have to make decisions on safeties Nick Ferguson, C.C. Brown, and Eugene Wilson. It is expected that they will part ways with at least two, if not all three players. Houston will also have to make a decision on veteran offensive guard Fred Weary, and cornerback DeMarcus Faggins.


Jacksonville Jaguars:

The Jaguars 5-11 campaign in 2008 was no fluke, as many weaknesses were unveiled in the Jacksonville roster. The team appears to be heading toward rebuilding mode, as they parted ways with pricey free agent acquisitions, Drayton Florence and Jerry Porter. The team also let go of franchise fixture, Fred Taylor, who was due approximately $6 million in 2009.

Jacksonville is not expected to re-sign free agent left tackle Khalif Barnes, although they did offer him a short-term deal which he refused. The Jaguars will also likely part ways with safety Gerald Sensabaugh, who was recently arrested for gun possession, and veteran middle linebacker Mike Peterson, who got into a spat with head coach Jack Del Rio last season.

Jacksonville has no plans of retaining former ninth-overall draft pick, wide receiver Reggie Williams. Williams never lived up to his draft status in Jacksonville and likely needs a change of scenery and a change of offensive system to play up to his full capabilities.

The Jaguars aren't expected to be big players in free agency as they were a season ago, but we've just received word that they are interested in Baltimore Ravens free agent center Jason Brown. The Jags have an opening at the position, as Brad Meester is unlikely to be re-signed by the team.

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