Wednesday’s headlines paved the way for more on Thursday.
With Tennessee able to sign kicker Rob Bironas and unable to tag defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth, the Titans today will use their franchise player designation on tight end Bo Scaife, a league source said.
Scaife will become the first tight end to be tagged this offseason and will be assured of making the tight end franchise number of $4.46 million — though he will not be able to test the free-agent market, as he had hoped. Tennessee could not risk losing Scaife, who last season led the Titans in receptions with 58.
Once he officially is tagged, Scaife will be bound to the Titans, and Tennessee will have addressed two of its biggest needs heading into the start of next Friday’s free-agent signing period. The Titans will have ensured that they retain Scaife, a 2005 sixth-round pick, and Bironas, their Pro Bowl kicker.
However, there still are two significant obstacles for Tennessee. The first will be to try to re-sign Haynesworth, who has told people he wants to test the free-agent market before resigning with the Titans — if he re-signs with them at all.
The other is re-signing quarterback Kerry Collins, who also is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent. Tennessee appears to be Collins’ best option, but, so far, the two sides have been unable to hammer out a deal.