While the Tennessee Titans wrangle with the possibilities of trying to keep Albert Haynesworth and/or Kerry Collins out of unrestricted free agency, another key member of this past season’s team is already set to step out and see what he is worth on the open market.
Tight end Bo Scaife, who led the club in receptions last season, has had negotiations with the Titans about an extension, but his agent, Kevin Robinson, has advised him to test the unrestricted free agent market that begins Feb. 27.
“We have had a few discussions with those guys. … They made an offer that we’re considering,” Robinson said. “But at this point, what I’ve really told Bo is, ‘You need to go and see what the market will bear.’
“I think he would be remiss not to explore the market and see what his value is, unless the Titans stepped up and made it worth his while not to step out there and see what his worth is as far as free agency is concerned.”
Scaife, a sixth-round pick by the Titans out of the University of Texas, has been one of the team’s success stories in his time in Tennessee, improving his receiving numbers each season. In addition to leading the team with 58 catches, Scaife had 561 yards receiving and scored two touchdowns this season. His receiving numbers have improved each season, as he caught 29 passes as a rookie in 2005, 37 in 2006 and 46 in 2007.
The Titans valued him enough last year to give him a second-round tender of $1.417 million last year as a restricted free agent.
Just because Scaife is set to explore free agency doesn’t mean he won’t re-sign with Tennessee, although those chances obviously decrease once their exclusive negotiating window expires and other teams are allowed to enter the bidding process.
“The lines of communication are certainly open,” Robinson said. “We’ve had some talks with them and will continue to do so as long as they want to do that, because Bo is very much interested in the Titans, and he doesn’t want to leave unless he feels like he has to. … But he’s in a position now where he’s three weeks away from unrestricted free agency. I feel like he’d be remiss not to see what his market value is.”
Robinson said that is one of the tricky parts of the current negotiating process is that he doesn’t know whether what the Titans currently have on the table is a fair-market offer or not.
“I can’t say right now whether their offer is in line with what market will offer or not,” Robinson said. “We want to go on market and see what that value is. It is a unique opportunity for a player to see what his value is.”
Titans general manager Mike Reinfeldt said he wouldn’t comment specifically on negotiations with Scaife or any other players who are heading into free agency, but did say that at this time of the league year, talks are generally slow around the league.
“Things kind of slow around the league right now. So it’s not abnormal,” Reinfeldt said. “We’re having discussions with a number of the UFAs, but I would like to make progress at some point.”