Between now and 3 PM CT on Saturday, the Tennessee Titans have to reduce their roster from the 75 it was for yesterday’s fourth preseason game to 53, at least temporarily ending the NFL careers of over a quarter the current roster. Some of those players will find a spot on the practice squad or a roster spot with a new team, either this year or in the future, but for some of them this is it. NFL GMs and head coaches regularly call today and Saturday their most difficult days of the year; from the outside, not having to make the decisions or tell the players myself, I can be cold-blooded about it, but it’s not a happy day.
Most cuts will not be announced by the Titans until Saturday’s deadline. Players will be informed of their impending release earlier, though, and the information leaks out. This post will be updated as those reports come, generally from one of The Reporters Who Cover The Titans, and as my time allows.
The cuts reported thus far include:
OT Jeff Adams (per Jim Wyatt)
CB Ri’Shard Anderson (per Wyatt)
RB Antonio Andrews (per John Glennon)
DL Chigbo Anunoby (per Terry McCormick)
CB Tommie Campbell (per Wyatt)
TE Chase Coffman (per Wyatt)
OLB Brandon Copeland (per Wyatt)
QB Dominique Davis (per Wyatt)
DE Marcus Dixon (per McCormick)
WR Marc Mariani (per Wyatt)
G Justin McCray (per Wyatt)
FB Collin Mooney (per McCormick)
G/C Eric Olsen (per McCormick)
WR Brian Robiskie (per Wyatt)
TE Jason Schepler (per Glennon)
The Titans’ roster now stands at 60 players, so an additional 7 releases are still to come. It’s worth noting, too, that the Titans could easily scour the waiver wire for players released from other teams, so that a player makes the initial 53 does not mean he will be there when the season begins.
The first notable release was Mooney. I had him on my initial roster prediction, though not on my latest one. My guess is that means Jackie Battle’s stinger is not particularly serious and he should be ready to play at Kansas City.
Mariani and Olsen are the first two players from my roster prediction to get cut; I knew I was out on a bit of a limb on Mariani, as the team seems to value Leon Washington’s non-kickoff return value (or maybe they just think he’s that much better of a kick returner than Mariani). Olsen filled the “second reserve interior lineman” spot better than anybody else on the team. I thought he could be vulnerable to somebody off the waiver wire, but not to anybody else on the roster. His release might mean the Titans keep as few as 8 offensive linemen (I expect Byron Stingily to make the team).
I thought Schepler was a dark horse to stick, simply because of the struggles of getting to 53. I’d consistently had Campbell on the roster, as had other people, because of his special teams value, modest contract, and lack of better options at cornerback, but he was always a bubble player. I wonder if his release means good things for Winston Wright, another of my preferred extreme longshots. Glennon had previously reported the Titans told Andrews they want him in the organization; his reported release means the practice squad is an option if he clears waivers (which I expect him to, but you never know). Brian Robiskie becomes the latest WR domino to fall; at least for now, Derek Hagan, Michael Preston, and Rico Richardson are still around behind the top three.
Latest update (2014/08/29, 1602 CT): I never understood what role Chase Coffman was supposed to play on the Titans if he made the team, so I’m not surprised to see him on the cuts list.