In a move which didn't come as a surprise to anyone, the Titans released eight-year veteran guard Zach Piller on Monday.
After missing most of two seasons in the last three years, Piller must have seen the writing on the wall. The line improved after Piller was injured last year and finished the season on Injured Reserve.
In a time when too many athletes cry, sulk and pout, Piller exhibited a healthy perspective.
"It is a privilege, not a right to play, and I am thankful for my time,'' said Piller. "I feel real fortunate about being able to play for the coaches I had and all the teammates I had and the fans, people treated me well. Coach Fisher treated me the right way. The way (the release) went down, it was handled properly and I couldn't ask for anything more."
"I really appreciate Zach's contributions to this team," coach Jeff Fisher said. "He worked very, very hard and was a productive player for us. I am excited for Zach's opportunity to land elsewhere in the league. Zach is one of my favorite players."
"We felt this move was in the best interest of both the player and the team, GM Mike Reinfeldt said. For a number of reasons, Zach was not in our plans for the future and we both agreed this would give him a head start on the free agent period and allow us to move forward as well.
"The Titans welcomed him back in a backup capacity, but that is not how I see him," said Piller's agent Drew Rosenhaus. "I anticipate finding a home for Zach where he'll be a starter. Zach had a great career with the Titans, and it kind of played out its course. I am very excited about marketing him as one of the top guards in free agency going forward. Zach has a lot of football in him; he is really determined to come back."
Rosenhaus also represents Jacob Bell, the man who replaced Piller in both 2004 and 2006, when Piller went on IR after biceps and ankle injuries.
Piller's release gives some breathing room to right guard Benji Olson, a nine-year veteran, who also has a high cap number.
This positional analysis
, written three weeks ago, shows what the O-line should look like this year.
I'll miss Zach and wish him well. The Titans will miss him too and I wish things could have been worked out, but his cap number is too high for a backup and you can't blame him for wanting to go somewhere where he can have a chance to play. Good luck and best wishes, Zach.