Warning ignored; Titans cut Roydell
Posted: Monday, September 1, 2008 4:31 pm
By: By TERESA M. WALKER, AP Sports Writer
NASHVILLE (AP) — Jeff Fisher had warned Roydell Williams that the Tennessee Titans needed to see the receiver on the field and working through his injuries. He didn’t do enough over the past week to keep his spot on the roster.
Williams, who had a career-best 55 catches last season, was among 22 players waived Saturday by the Titans. Williams shared the team lead in receptions with Justin Gage, and he was second with 719 yards receiving. But he had struggled since breaking an ankle days before their playoff game last January.
The Titans signed Gage to an extension in February and brought back veteran receiver Justin McCareins in March, a duo that will be their starters in the opener against Jacksonville. Brandon Jones, whose own season was cut short by a groin injury last year, has been working as the slot receiver this preseason.
Fisher said in a statement that the decisions have become harder the past two years, which he called good.
“It means we are more competitive and have more depth. We had to let some players go today that have been part of our program, which is not easy. They were tough decisions, but we made the decisions that we thought were in the best interest of the club, and I am aware that some of these players will resurface somewhere else in the league,” he said.
The Titans had drafted Williams in the fourth round of the 2005 draft. Safety Calvin Lowry was a fourth-round pick himself in the 2006 draft but was waived. He started the 2007 season as a starter at free safety before being replaced by last year’s first-round pick Michael Griffin but finished starting 11 of 16 games as he filled in for the injured Chris Hope at the end of the season.
Tennessee also waived quarterback Ingle Martin to leave the Titans with only two quarterbacks for a second straight season. Others waived included fullback Jeremy Cain and Casey Cramer, running back Omar Cuff, receivers Biren Ealy and Edward Williams; linebacker Jerrell Freeman; tight end Jamie Petrowski; offensive linemen Isaac Snell, Fernando Velasco, Enoka Lucas and Jason Murphy; cornerbacks Marquice Cole, Tuff Harris and seventh-round draft pick Cary Williams; kicker John Vaughn; defensive tackles Antonio Johnson and Eric Taylor; defensive end Sean Conover and safety Tony Joiner.
General manager Mike Reinfeldt said he thinks the Titans’ roster is stronger now than a year ago, starting with the offensive and defensive lines. But the Titans will be scouring the waiver wires over the next 24 hours and could make more roster changes.
“We will continue to look for ways to improve our roster on both sides of the ball, whether that is a potential starter or someone that can fill a specific role,” he said.
In other team news, the Titans agreed to terms with eight players to fill out the practice squad.
The Titans reached deals with wide receiver Biren Ealy, defensive back Tuff Harris, defensive tackle Antonio Johnson, quarterback Ingle Martin, offensive lineman Jason Murphy, tight end Jamie Petrowski, offensive lineman Fernando Velasco and cornerback Cary Williams.