Kinney released, RFAs tendered, no UFAs re-signed
Seven-year veteran tight end Erron Kinney was released by the Titans today on the last day of the NFL's calendar year.
Kinney was sidelined all of last year with a knee injury that required two surgeries, including microfracture surgery, which is sometimes considered a last resort for a player to stay in the league. I did not expect him to be able to play this season, although he stated he hoped to be ready to participate in training camp.
Kinney was also due a $300,000 roster bonus, which didn't make sense to pay.
"He is rehabilitating vigorously with the intent of returning and he is optimistic about that return, and hopefully with the Titans," said his agent, Kyle Denzel. "He believes this was made because of the roster bonus and the uncertainty of the progress of his injury at the time. It may take some more time to see where he is going to be. He is working very hard and he knows this was a business decision. He loves the Nashville community and wants to stay here."
The Titans will miss Kinney for his play and his leadership. He was the best blocking tight end the team has had since the franchise moved to Tennessee. Besides his on-field contributions, Kinney was an active member volunteering his time in the community for worthwhile causes, including being a volunteer firefighter.
In related roster news, the Titans offered tenders to restricted free agents C/G Eugene Amano, G Jacob Bell, TE Ben Hartsock, LB Robert Reynolds, and DT Randy Starks. The levels of the tenders were not disclosed.
I agree with the tenders for Amano, Bell, Hartsock, and Starks. I'm a little confused why Reynolds was tendered but Bockwoldt, who did better on special teams, wasn't.
The deadline for re-signing unrestricted free agents is midnight tonight and so far the Titans have not re-signed any. The group includes WR Drew Bennett, RB Chris Brown, QB Kerry Collins, DT Rien Long, S Donnie Nickey, LB Peter Sirmon, DT Robaire Smith, and WR Bobby Wade.
It seems the Titans may allow them all to test the waters in free agency, though there are no plans to re-sign Brown, Nickey, or Sirmon. I'd like for them to make offers to Smith, Bennett, Long, and Wade, in that order of importance, if those offers haven't been made already. I think it's probably safe to wait on Collins and sign him at a later date for a reduced price. Not that his money should be an issue this time around.
Bennett may be the hardest to re-sign, since he could get a nice chunk of cash from someone, especially the 49ers. Smith, Wade, and Collins all seem to want to re-sign with Tennessee. I don't really have a feel for what Long may want to do, but I'd like to see him re-signed to be a designated pass rusher.