As first reported by Adam Schefter and subsequently confirmed by Mike Munchak in his press conference today, the Tennessee Titans have released tight end Daniel Graham. While the Titans haven’t officially confirmed the news, Adam Caplan reports the transaction was officially turned in to the league office today.
When the Titans selected Taylor Thompson in the fifth round of this year’s NFL draft, that pretty much sealed Graham’s fate in my eyes. While Andrew thought Graham might compete for a roster spot, he was pretty succinct and accurate in his look at veterans affected by the 2012 draft, noting “you can pretty much say goodbye to him.” I thought Graham had a lousy season in 2011, worst of any veteran free agent the Titans signed, and had no more than a 5% chance of making the team. His only chance would have been if Thompson was slow to pick up to the offense, and none of the other non-Cook/Stevens tight ends impressed at all. Thompson has apparently looked good, though, and Munchak noted that with the numbers the Titans have at tight end, it was difficult to get reps for everybody.
Ultimately, Graham’s release doesn’t affect how I expect the Titans to look in 2012. Jared Cook, Craig Stevens, and Taylor Thompson will all make the team. It’s very hard for me to find a roster spot for a fourth tight end unless Beau Brinkley beats out Jake Ingram as the long-snapper.
If my numbers are correct, Graham’s release gives the Titans $666,667 in dead money this year and in 2013. With his salary coming off the books, the Titans now have about $18.2 million in cap room this year. They also have 89 players on the roster, one under the maximum, and could sign a player without making another move.