The Tennessee Titans have extended the contract of left tackle Taylor Lewan. Buck Reising, Titans reporter and host of Tackling Music City, fills in the details.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — After reporting on-time for the team’s 2018 Training Camp Wednesday, the Tennessee Titans rewarded star left tackle Taylor Lewan’s show of good faith by signing him to a long-term extension. Paul Kuharsky of PaulKuharsky.com first reported the five-year extension and ESPN’s Adam Schefter tagged on the details soon thereafter.
The $80 million deal, with $50 million in guarantees makes Lewan the highest paid lineman in NFL history.
The 11th overall pick by Tennessee in the 2014 NFL Draft, Lewan opted to skip the three-day mandatory mini-camp in early June after participating in all of this offseason’s voluntary team activities after contract negotiations had slowed. Lewan was already under contract in 2018 after the team elected to pick up the fifth-year option on his rookie contract worth $9.341 million. Now, the player who could be considered the foundation of the franchise’s rebuild will remain in the fold to help continue a Titans return to relevance.
Lewan has played in 58 games with 53 starts during his four NFL seasons. All of his starts have come at left tackle, including every contest in the past two years. He is the third player in the Titans era (1999-present) to start at least 50 games at left tackle, joining a prestigious lineage with former Pro Bowlers Brad Hopkins and Michael Roos. In 2017, Lewan was named to his second consecutive Pro Bowl. He became the team’s first offensive lineman to make multiple Pro Bowls since center Kevin Mawae in 2008 and 2009. From 2016-17, Lewan was a key cog in a Titans offense that finished third in total rushing yards (4,020) and 12th in sacks allowed (63).
“I’ve showed up for four years, and I’ve played my a– off for this team for four years,” Lewan said Thursday, prior to the completion of his new deal. “I’ve showed a lot of goodwill. So this is me coming here because I want this team to be successful. I know I’m on this team this year, so I want this team to be successful, and I want to do everything I can to be the best left tackle I can be.”
Former New England Patriot Nate Solder, 30, left Foxborough for the New York Giants in free agency this March to become the highest-paid tackle in the League. Solder signed up for four years and $62 million, with $34.8 million guaranteed at signing. The massive number for a player who had not even made a Pro Bowl reset the market at the position and bogged down talks between Lewan’s representatives and Tennessee.
Now, the Titans two-time Pro Bowler stands alone as the most expensive offensive lineman ever in Pro Football.