The Titans told Chris Johnson they are releasing him Friday after six seasons to avoid paying $8 million the running back is due in 2014, along with the final three seasons left on the $53.5 million contract he signed in September 2011. His release comes before the Titans start their off-season program Monday with new coach Ken Whisenhunt, who is an Augusta native.
The Titans have been busy working to replace Johnson, who turns 29 in September. They agreed with Dexter McCluster on a three-year deal at the start of free agency after signing Shonn Greene in March 2013.
SAINTS: Veteran defensive back Champ Bailey has agreed to a two-year contract with the New Orleans Saints.
The 35-year-old former Georgia Bulldog played the past 10 seasons with Denver after spending his first five in the NFL with Washington. A shutdown cornerback for much of his career, Bailey has made three All-Pro teams and been selected to 12 Pro Bowls. He trails only Hall of Fame end Reggie White (13) among defensive players in NFL history in Pro Bowls.
SEAHAWKS: Locked up coach Pete Carroll with a three-year contract extension after he led the franchise to its first Super Bowl title.
The extension runs through the 2016 season. Carroll’s original five-year deal, signed with the team in January 2010, was set to expire after next season.
BILLS: Receiver Mike Williams is returning home to Buffalo after being acquired in a trade with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The trade, contingent on Williams passing a physical, addresses a significant need for the Bills by adding an experienced, proven starter to what had been a young group of receivers.
In exchange, the Bills gave up a sixth-round draft pick.
GIANTS: Agreed to a one-year contract with tight end Kellen Davis, whose previous team’s last game was a Super Bowl victory at the Giants’ stadium.
Davis spent his first five NFL seasons with Chicago. He joined the Seahawks one week into the 2013 season and played in every game the rest of the way – except Seattle’s Super Bowl victory over Denver, when he was inactive.
LIONS: Quarterback Dan Orlovsky is back with Detroit after signing a one-year contract.
Orlovsky spent the last two seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He appeared in two games last season. He was drafted by the Lions in the fifth round of the 2005 draft and played his first four years in the NFL with Detroit.