Dennis Kelly

Tennessee Locks Up Journeyman Tackle Dennis Kelly

  • Dennis Kelly
  • Tennessee Titans
By Jason Engstrom March 17, 2020 0 Comment
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Tennessee has yet to make a big splash in the NFL free agency legal tampering period that kicked off Monday. They let starting right tackle Jack Conklin walk. Conklin signed a hefty 3 year contract with a $42 million price tag with the Browns. Many Titans fans and media expected that price tag to be much higher. It’s a vote of confidence from the administration on his understudy. They did lock up Conklin’s key backup, Dennis Kelly. Kelly will get a chance to compete for a starting job this year.

Journeyman tackle Dennis Kelly signed a 3 year contract worth $21 million dollars, including $8.75 million guaranteed. That’s well under the going rate for a starting tackle. If the move pans out, general manager Jon Robinson will look like a genius.

Dennis Kelly and his path to Tennessee

The Purdue alumni started 37 games before he was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the fifth round of the 2012 NFL Draft. During his stint there, he started ten games with three at guard and the rest at tackle. In 2016, Kelly was traded to the Tennessee Titans for wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham. The trade was a steal for the Titans, as Green-Beckham is out of the league and Kelly has started multiple games and continues to play well. Kelly has the ability to fill in seamlessly at at least four different spots on the offensive line. With a second year player Nate Davis starting at right guard, it’s imperative that Tennessee has a steadying presence on that side of the line. Kelly is that presence.

Kelly’s impact in Tennessee

Kelly had his best stretch filling in for the injured Jack Conklin in 2018, where he played 376 snaps and only gave up one sack per Pro Football Focus. But also did well filling in for Lewan during his performance enhancing drug suspension. Amazingly, Kelly only had one penalty in that stretch. It makes sense because he’s already familiar with the system and his offensive line teammates. He’s athletic enough to thrive in Tennessee’s zone blocking scheme and will have a chance to take over as the starting right tackle next season. Nothing is guaranteed however, and with a savvy personnel guy like Robinson, expect there to be a rookie added to the mix to compete.

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