Nick Westbrook-Ikhine passed on Titans' offer in order to test market

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, who’s been a rotational piece in the Titans’ receiver mix for the last three seasons, stepped away from contract negotiations with the team to test the market.

Nick Westbrook-Ikhine
Nick Westbrook-Ikhine/ Tennessee Titans

The team didn’t offer him the tender of $2.627 million for 2023 as a restricted free agent (as reported by Terry McCormick) which would have given it the right to match an offer sheet from any other team.

In recent years the Titans have not been in position to tender many unrestricted free agents, as their players heading to a fourth year not under contract have not been particularly desirable. That pool has included Derick Roberson, David Quessenberry, Matt Dickerson, D’Onta Foreman, Josh Kalu, Jamil Douglas, David Fluellen and Tye Smith.

This year things are different.

NWI is not a big solution at receiver, but with a thin pool of free agents at wide receiver and only six draft picks with a lot of other needs, he serves a purpose if slotted correctly. The Titans are determined to get faster across the roster and Westbrook-Ikhine does not offer speed – he ran a 4.68 as an undrafted coming out of Indiana.

Indications are he will test the market and could circle back to the Titans if he finds their offer more reasonable given more context. I respect the fact that they put a number on what he can do. The veteran minimum is for a fourth-year player is $1.08 million.

Without him, the Titans' current receiver roster includes only Treylon Burks, Kyle Philips, Racey McMath, Mason Kinsey and Reggie Roberson.

Two other key Titans were in line for restricted free agency, Teair Tart and Aaron Brewer.

That's fantastic for Tart, an undrafted interior defensive lineman out of Florida International whose game has grown to the degree where he's a key cog in the team's run defense. 

The Titans negotiated with Brewer Wednesday but did not strike a deal and also tagged him with the second-round number, a surprise to me that certainly signals they expect him to start. I believe he will be the center who replaces Ben Jones, who was recently cut.

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