The Tennessee Titans announced today they agreed to terms with safety Aaron Francisco.
Francisco spent 2011 out of the NFL after getting cut by the Lions at the end of training camp. He began his career with the Arizona Cardinals before spending two seasons with the Indianapolis Colts. His most extensive action on regular defense came in 2010, when he started 12 games at strong safety for the Colts after both Bob Sanders (of course) and Melvin Bullitt went down with injuries.
While Paul Kuharsky said Francisco did good work in 2010, my dominant impression of his play was that he looked like a third-string playerwho would have been a lot with his contributions almost totally limited to special teams play. That said, I noted a while back the Titans were looking for another safety to fill a specific role, and Francisco might be that guy. The Titans were also very, very young at safety between backups Robert Johnson (three active appearances in the NFL) and Markelle Martin (drafted this year).
Francisco may be this year’s version of Anthony Smith, a veteran whose shown he’s not exactly a great starter but who fills an occasional role on defense and appears regularly only on special teams. I don’t consider Francisco a lock to make the roster by any means, but his signing probably does make camp a little more interesting for both Johnson and Martin.
Brief Kenny Britt Note: As noted on Twitter, my reaction to the news was was unprintable. I expect Britt to be suspended for multiple games (4?). Chris Mortensen indicated the Titans were likely to add a receiver, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they’re content to roll with what they have. If they were interested in a player like T.O., they would have signed him during the season last year. Even after the Francisco signing, though, the roster stands at 89 players, so the Titans could add another player without letting anybody go.