By Karen Christensen//@ksc47
The Tennessee Titans have been busy in free agency.
Most notably, running back DeMarco Murray was the first of eight Titans to be released. Murray was still considered the Titans #1 RB in 2017 although he had shoulder, foot, and knee injuries. He missed the last regular season game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Veteran quarterback Matt Cassel was released on March 9th. He started just one game for the Titans last year, which ended up being a loss to the Miami Dolphins. Although the Titans have contracts with quarterbacks Alex Tanney and Tyler Ferguson, it was rumored that the team was interested in another veteran QB Chad Henne, who ended up signing with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Safety Da’Norris Searcy, wide receiver/special teams Eric Weems and nose tackle Sylvester Williams have also been released. Weems and Williams had only been with the team for the 2017 season, while Searcy had been with the Titans since 2015.
The release of defensive lineman Karl Klug, who had been with the Titans for seven seasons, was a bit of a surprise. Klug is a fan favorite and was the winner of the Ed Block Courage award. The award is for players that “exemplify commitments to the principles of sportsmanship and courage” per Jim Wyatt of TitansOnline, and his fellow Titans had voted for him. Klug had just started a Twitter social media account last week and it is sad that he is having to use his account to say goodbye to the fans.
Cornerback/safety Curtis Riley announced via social media that he has signed with the New York Giants and linebacker Avery Williamson has signed with the New York Jets. Supposedly the Titans had offered Williamson a four year $12 million contract, but the Jets had a better offer and they got themselves a great ILB.
Tennessee has re-signed two defensive linemen, DaQuan Jones and David King. Jones has been with the Titans since 2014 and King came to the Titans last year through a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Guard Josh Kline has reached an agreement with the Titans. He signed a four-year agreement with $12 million guaranteed (and a total of $26 million). Kline has been with Tennessee for two years mostly starting at right guard, he has also played for the New England Patriots.
Left guard and restricted free agent Quinton Spain has received a tender offer from the Titans. The NFL announced that Spain was number one overall NFL players in receiving performance-based pay with a total of $489,782 rewarded. Spain has been the Titans starting left guard for two seasons. Let’s hope he stays with the team, as he is definitely a strong player.
The Tennessee Titans have signed two new players, both from the New England Patriots. Running back Dion Lewis and cornerback Malcolm Butler were introduced to Nashville at Saint Thomas Sports Park on March 15.
Mr. Lewis has also played for the Eagles, the Browns, and Colts, and suffered a torn ACL in 2015 with the Patriots and missed much of 2016. During his 2017 season with the Patriots, he lead the team in carries and rushing yards per writer Paul Kuharsky. Lewis states that being doubted throughout his career due to injuries has helped him to be an overcomer, motivating him to work harder. During the 2018 Super Bowl, Lewis had nine carries for 39 yards.
Malcolm Butler did not play during Super Bowl LII. Butler states that he did not question New England head coach Bill Belichick’s decision for not letting him play, but that Butler had been sick and missed some practice time before the Super Bowl. Butler is known for a rookie year interception during Super Bowl XLIX against the Seattle Seahawks; that interception during the last seconds of the game sealed the win for the New England Patriots. Malcolm Butler stated during his Titans introductory press conference that he grew up in Mississippi where he was a fan of former Titans’ quarterback Steve McNair.
Butler knows how to win over some Titan fans.
Talk Titans with Karen on Twitter @ksc47