After spending nine seasons and 141 games with the Titans, Michael Griffin‘s time in Tennessee has come to an end. The veteran safety published a tweet today strongly suggesting that the team has informed him that he’s being released, and Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.com confirmed (via Twitter) the move. The Titans have since made it official, via a press release.
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“I knew one day my time would come and I cherished every minute of it,” Griffin tweeted. “It’s been real Tennessee✌. Thanks for everything. #nextchapter.”
Griffin’s release is a move that had been anticipated, with the former Texas Longhorn suggesting in December that his future was uncertain. Griffin had been set to enter the final year of his current contract, and was set to earn a $6.5MM base salary, with a cap hit of $8.3MM. By releasing him, the Titans will clear his entire $6.5MM salary from their books for the coming year. Griffin was the first player we mentioned when we identified potential cap casualties in our preview of the Titans’ offseason.
In his nine seasons with the Titans, Griffin missed just three games, including one in 2015. Earning Pro Bowl spots in 2008 and 2010, the former first-round pick totaled 761 tackles, 25 interceptions, and 11 forced fumbles during his time with the team.
“I want to thank Griff for his time here with the organization,” Titans head coach Mike Mularkey said in a statement. “He was a leader who showed up to work every day in an effort to get better, and I appreciated his effort both on and off the field for this team. He touched a lot of people in this community and in our organization. I want to wish him the best, and I hope he will always be remembered as a great Titan.”
Now that the move is official, Griffin is immediately free to sign with a new team without having to first pass through waivers. Reaching the open market a month before 2016’s free agent period opens will give him a head-start on this year’s crop of free agents when it comes to finding a new job.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.