Titans cut Johnson
Durable veteran running back Chris Johnson was released by the Tennessee Titans on Friday after a morning meeting with general manager Ruston Webster.
The sixth-year back, who some believe is in decline, has averaged 4.6 yards per carry since he was drafted in the first round out of East Carolina, including a 2,006-yard season in 2009, his second year in the league.
The Titans shopped Johnson in trade but his $8 million base salary was prohibitive.
“As an organization, we want to thank Chris for his contributions to the Titans,” Webster said in a statement. “Chris produced many memorable moments, broke franchise records and was durable over his six year career with our team. We have had an open dialogue with Chris’ agent, Joel Segal, over the last few weeks, and we appreciate the patience and professionalism they have shown throughout this process. We made an effort to trade Chris but were unable to do so.
“We wish Chris the best and thank him for the six seasons he spent with us.”
The New York Jets, Dallas Cowboys, Arizona Cardinals and Cleveland Browns were hinted at as potential landing spots for Johnson. Considering he has 2,014 career touches (272 receptions, 1,742 carries), teams might sooner look to the draft, where a late first-round pick would require only a four-year deal worth approximately the same $8 million Johnson was owed for next season.
Johnson made $30 million in salary and bonuses the past three seasons, but running backs on the open market this offseason are failing to cash in with big-money deals.
Johnson, 28, rushed for 1,077 yards on 279 carries — a career-worst 3.9 yards per carry — last season after posting 1,243 yards on 276 carries in 2012.
Johnson, who had minor knee surgery in January, said he was underused in the Titans’ offense and was open to being traded. Johnson turns 29 in September with more than 2,000 career touches in six seasons.
“I’d like to thank all of my teammates, the fans, the staff and the coaches who have supported me throughout my journey with the Titans,” Johnson said in a statment. “I have grown so much as an individual and as teammate over the past few years, and I am excited about the opportunity to bring my experience and talents to a new organization.”
NFLPA probing Jackson release
NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith told ESPN radio’s “Mike & Mike Show” that the union is investigating the Philadelphia Eagles’ release of wide receiver DeSean Jackson.
The Eagles cut ties with the star wide receiver last week after NJ.com reported Jackson has gang ties. Jackson denied he is involved with street gangs.
Smith said the NFLPA wants to find out if the Eagles leaked comments or misinformation about Jackson to the media.
Carroll gets extension
The Seattle Seahawks gave coach Pete Carroll a three-year contract extension.
Carroll’s original five-year deal he signed in January 2010 was set to expire after next season. His new deal runs through 2016.
Bills acquire Williams
The Buffalo Bills acquired wide receiver Mike Williams from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a draft pick.
ESPN.com reported that it is a sixth-round pick in this year’s draft.
Williams made at least 63 catches in each of his first three seasons in the NFL but a hamstring injury limited him to just 22 receptions for 216 yards in six games last year.
Bailey signs with Saints
Veteran cornerback Champ Bailey agreed to a two-year contract with the New Orleans Saints, the team announced Friday.
Bailey, 35, has been named to the Pro Bowl 12 times, but the Denver Broncos released him after the 2013 season. A foot injury seemed to limit his effectiveness.
He played in five regular-season games for the Broncos in 2013, including three starts, and played in all three playoff games, including one start.