Needing to reduce the roster to 80 players by Tuesday afternoon, the Titans today waived 9 players, most notably defensive tackle Jovan Haye. The second-biggest name the Titans released was S Nick Schommer, while the other cuts were relatively obvious camp bodies: LB Jonathan Cornell, P Chad Cunningham, FB Patrick Hills, LB Kevin Malast, QB Bret Ratliff, WR Owen Spencer, and LS John Stokes. The Titans also moved Chris Johnson to the Reserve/Did Not Report list.
Haye was the Titans’ big defense free agency acquisition of 2009, signing a four year, $16 million contract to help fill the void at defensive tackle created by the loss of Albert Haynesworth. Haye was never supposed to replace Haynesworth’s production, but he struggled to have any sort of sustained production in a Titans uniform. The Titans asked him to lose weight first, then he added the weight back this offseason in an effort to fit in with Jerry Gray’s philosophy of larger defensive tackles, but neither change seemed to help. It would seem like a surprise given Haye has been listed at first-team on the depth chart, but realistically he was no higher than fifth on the defensive tackle pecking order, behind Shaun Smith, Sen’Derrick Marks, Jurrell Casey, and Karl Klug. Scheduled to make $3 million this year and $3.7 million next year (unless I missed a renegotiation), the salary helped ease his departure.
Schommer appeared in 13 games last season after being selected by the Titans in the seventh round in the 2010 draft. He mostly played special teams and only had 3 tackles, though he did also get credited for a safety. Unfortunately for him, he spent way too much time during training camp in the trainer’s room and couldn’t seize a roster spot.
With today’s moves, the Titans roster stands at 80 players. They’ll have to get down to 53 by Saturday’s deadline. One note: Ryan Mouton cannot be officially played on injured reserve until Saturday, so he currently counts as part of the 80. Chris Johnson, though, does not, so if the Titans get a deal worked out with him, Mouton and Johnson effectively cancel each other out and the Titans do have to make 27 cuts, not 26.