Early in the year the Tennessee Titans changed coaches. Saturday, they officially changed the roster.
Wide receiver Justin Gage, safety Vincent Fuller and defensive end Jacob Ford were among nine players cut – almost all of them veterans – Saturday for the Titans to get down to the NFL’s roster limit by the 4 p.m. deadline.
Tennessee actually has 54 players following the moves because it was granted a roster exemption for Chris Johnson, who signed his contract and reported to the team a day earlier. That exemption will expire prior to the Sept. 11 opener at Jacksonville, which means one more player must go before then.
Also released were guard Ryan Durand, defensive end Pannel Egboh, wide receiver Yamon Figurs (injured), cornerback Pete Ittersagen (injured), safety Robert Johnson and cornerback Frank Walker.
Wide receiver Kevin Curtis and tackle Adam Terry were placed on injured reserve, which means they will miss the entire 2011 season.
Gage spent the last four seasons with Tennessee and started 33 games over that time. He caught a career-high 55 passes in 2007, his first with the Titans. Of his 201 career receptions, 137 came with Tennessee as did 12 of his 16 touchdown receptions.
Ford was a sixth-round pick in 2007 who played at least 14 games each of the last three years. He was waived-injured because of a hamstring injury and at 6-foot-4, 252 pounds was the latest veteran casualty in the team’s attempt to get bigger along the defensive line.
Fuller was a fourth-round selection in 2005 who played 75 games for the Titans, including everyone from 2006 through 2008.
Durand was a 2009 draft pick. Johnson was a 2010 selection and brought to three the number of 2010 Titans’ draftees who were released in recent days.
By comparison, all of the 2011 selections made the roster.