Craig Stevens

Titans TE Craig Stevens Retires

Titans tight end Craig Stevens is calling it a career. After eight NFL seasons, Stevens is walking away from the game, a source tells Alex Marvez of the Sporting News. Craig Stevens

Stevens, 32 in September, appeared in all 16 games for the Titans last season. He caught 12 passes for 121 and 2 touchdowns. The pair of scores matched a previous career high set in 2010. Stevens, a blocking specialist, has been a member of the Titans since being selected in the third round of the 2008 draft. With eight straight years in Tennessee, he was one of the longest tenured members of the Titans.

Stevens leaves the game with 60 receptions for 724 yards and six touchdowns in his career.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

South Rumors: Foster, Falcons, Martin, Jags

Texans running back Arian Foster, entering the final year of his contract, is set to make a $6.5MM base salary, with an overall cap hit of nearly $9MM. Those figures make him a potential release candidate, but if general manager Rick Smith says Houston won’t cut the veteran back because of his salary.

“As it relates to all the free agent conversations, I’m never really going to tell you one way or the other what we are doing, but I will tell you this: his salary is not a reason why we would cut Arian,” Smith said.

That doesn’t necessarily close the door on the Texans releasing Foster, since the team could have concerns about his health or his production. But if they’re comfortable paying a healthy Foster $6.5MM, it increases the odds that he’ll be back in Houston for the 2016 season.

Let’s check in on a few other items from around the NFL’s South divisions….

  • Head coach Dan Quinn and the Falcons will be monitoring wide receivers closely in both free agency and the draft, writes Vaughn McClure of According to McClure, the Falcons have “done their homework” on this year’s pending free agent wideouts, including Travis Benjamin, Mohamed Sanu, Jermaine Kearse, and Nate Washington.
  • Buccaneers GM Jason Licht confirmed that he met with Brian Murphy, the agent for Doug Martin, on Wednesday at the scouting combine. However, as Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times tweets, no agreement between the two sides will be reached in Indianapolis.
  • The Jaguars will head into the free agent period armed with a ton of cap space, according to GM David Caldwell, who suggests that estimates of $75MM “might be a little low,” per Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union. In a separate piece, O’Halloran also passed along a few notable comments made by Jacksonville head coach Gus Bradley during his media availability.
  • Craig Stevens‘ new one-year contract with the Titans features a $1.15MM base salary, a $250K workout bonus, and per-game roster bonuses worth up to $500K, says Paul Kuharsky of A report last week indicated that the tight end’s deal could be worth up to $2.6MM via incentives.

Titans Re-Sign TE Craig Stevens

FRIDAY, 1:27pm: Stevens’ new deal with the Titans is a one-year pact worth $2MM, with incentives that could take it up to $2.6MM, tweets Ian Rapoport of

THURSDAY, 8:14pm: The Titans announced that they have re-signed tight end Craig Stevens. “We’re glad to have him back,” GM Jon Robinson said in a statement.Craig Stevens

Stevens, 32 in September, appeared in all 16 games for the Titans last season. He caught 12 passes for 121 and 2 touchdowns. The pair of scores matched a previous career high set in 2010. Stevens, a blocking specialist, has been a member of the Titans since being selected in the third round of the 2008 draft. With eight straight years in Tennessee, he is one of the longest tenured members of the Titans.

Stevens has 60 receptions for 724 yards and six touchdowns in his career.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Raiders, Flacco, A. Mack, Bills, Titans

The Raiders need to find a running back to complement Latavius Murray, opines Scott Bair of Bair lists Chris Johnson, Tim Hightower, Matt Forte, James Starks and Ronnie Hillman as potential fits through free agency.

Earlier tonight, PFR’s Rory Parks previewed the Raiders’ offseason in depth and, like Bair, named RB as a position the club could address. Click here for the rest.

More from the AFC:

  • Reworking quarterback Joe Flacco‘s deal and cutting $9MM off his $28MM-plus cap hit for this year would go a long way toward helping the Ravens make improvements, Jamison Hensley of writes. As of Wednesday morning, the Ravens and Flacco haven’t discussed a restructuring.
  • The notion that Browns center Alex Mack has a clause in his contract preventing the team from placing the franchise or transition tag on him is untrue, according to Joel Corry of CBS Sports. Corry notes (via Twitter) that Mack does have a no-trade clause, though. The 30-year-old is expected to opt out of his current deal in the coming weeks and become a free agent.
  • A pair of escalators affecting the Bills‘ salary cap have been triggered, as Mike Rodak of tweets (Twitter links). Tyrod Taylor‘s cap number this season has increased from $1.3MM to $3.3MM based on an escalator and how his ’16 playtime incentive is treated. Bills center Eric Wood also hit an escalator that increases his 2016 cap number by $650K.
  • Out of their pending free agents, the Titans are prioritizing nose tackle Al Woods and tight end Craig Stevens, Terry McCormick of reports. Woods made a career-high nine starts last season. Stevens has been a Titan since 2008 and is discussing a new deal with the team, per McCormick.
  • Chiefs backup quarterback Chase Daniel is scheduled for free agency, but the club has too many other needs to worry about investing a decent chunk of money in a reserve signal caller, writes Adam Teicher of Teicher believes it’s time for either Aaron Murray or Tyler Bray to step up and take over for Daniel as Alex Smith‘s top understudy. Although the two have been Chiefs for a combined seven years, neither has appeared in a regular-season game.
  • In a Monday roundup of Ravens news and notes, Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun discusses the possibility of the team trading down from the No. 6 pick, and reexamines the likelihood of cornerback Kyle Arrington being released.

Sam Robinson contributed to this post.

Titans, Craig Stevens Agree To New Deal

The Titans and tight end Craig Stevens agreed to a restructured contract on Wednesday, sources familiar with the situation tell Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean. Stevens was previously scheduled to earn $3.5MM in 2015. Now, he’ll instead earn a similar amount to his deal from last season when he made $1.6MM.

The 2008 draft pick suffered a thigh injury last season and was placed on injured reserve after five games. Across the last five seasons, Stevens has hauled in 48 catches for 603 yards and four touchdowns. With his new deal, Stevens will remain with the Titans where he’s a part of a deep tight end stable. Besides Stevens, Tennessee has Delanie Walker and Anthony Fasano on its roster, along with Taylor Thompson and Dorin Dickerson.

Stevens, 31 in September, had a grand total of two receptions for 26 yards in 2014.

AFC Links: McCourty, Chargers, Titans

Ravens wideout Steve Smith will be facing off against the Patriots this weekend, and the veteran acknowledged that he was pursued by New England during the offseason.

“Yeah, I talked to [Bill Belichick] and it was a great opportunity as well,” Smith told Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun. “Anytime you have an opportunity to go to some teams, it’s always good. When your phone stops ringing, you need to start thinking about if I’m in the right profession.”

Let’s see what else is going on around the AFC…

Minor Moves: Saturday

Here are Saturday’s minor transactions from around the NFL, with recent updates added to the top of the list:

  • Defensive back Lowell Rose has been promoted to the Dolphins‘ 53-man roster, replacing defensive tackle Deandre Coleman, who was waived, the team announced today (Twitter link). Chris Perkins of the South Florida Sun Sentinel notes (via Twitter) that the return of defensive lineman Derrick Shelby and a hamstring injury to safety Jimmy Wilson likely spelled doom for Coleman.
  • The Saints have released tight end Tom Crabtree and promoted linebacker Todd Davis to the active roster, according to the team’s official Twitter page.
  • The Lions have placed linebacker Travis Lewis on the IR and promoted tight end Jordan Thompson from the practice squad to the active roster, reports Tim Twentyman of (via Twitter).

Earlier updates:

  • The Redskins have activated Stephen Bowen off the PUP list, reports Chris Russell of ESPN Radio 980 in Washington D.C. The team has placed linebacker Akeem Jordan on IR to make room, reports Adam Caplan of ESPN (via Twitter).
  • The Ravens have added safety Will Hill to the 53-man roster, and placed defensive tackle Christo Bilukidi on IR to make room, reports Jamison Hensley of ESPN.
  • The Seahawks activated tight end RaShaun Allen off the practice squad, reports Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter). They also promoted safety Steven Terrell off the practice squad, and placed Cassius Marsh on IR to make room, reports Brian McIntyre of (via Twitter).
  • The Panthers have waived safety Robert Lester and promoted linebacker Adarius Glanton from the practice squad, tweets’s David Newton. Lester, a former standout at Alabama, had 21 tackles in 12 appearances last season.
  • The Browns have signed defensive lineman Jacobbi McDaniel from their practice squad and have waived tight end Gerell Robinson, tweets Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal. Robinson has bounced around the league since going undrafted in 2012. He played in his first career game against the Saints in Week 2.
  • The Titans have signed tight end Brett Brackett from the practice squad, tweets Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean. Brackett will replace injured tight end Craig Stevens, who was placed on the injured reserve.
  • The Cowboys have signed linebacker Keith Smith from the practice squad, tweets Todd Archer of To make room, the team released their seventh-round pick in the 2014 draft, defensive tackle Ken Bishop. Archer notes in a following tweet that he expects Bishop to return if he clear waivers.


South Notes: Gruden, Titans, Saints, Bucs

Before Jay Gruden signed on to coach the Redskins, he had a very positive interview with the Titans, writes Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean. “It was a good visit,” Gruden said. “I was very interested in the job, but Washington called me I guess the night after the interview and had me fly up here and they offered me the job right away.” Gruden says he was never offered the Tennessee job and soon after, the Titans hired Ken Whisenhunt as their head coach.

Here’s more from out of the league’s two South divisions:

  • Titans tight end Craig Stevens underwent surgery today to repair a torn quadriceps tendon, and will be sidelined for the season, writes Terry McCormick of
  • The Saints‘ reasons for releasing fourth-round linebacker Khairi Fortt were never made entirely clear, and head coach Sean Payton declined to elaborate today on the team’s thinking, indicating that the move was in the club’s best interest, tweets Mike Triplett of Fortt was claimed off waivers by the Bengals and has since been cut by Cincinnati as well.
  • The Buccaneers, who signed corner Isaiah Frey earlier today, are clearly toying with their nickel back spot, tweets Roy Cummings of The Tampa Tribune. Keith Tandy worked in that role last week and defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier has said that the team needs better play out of that position.
  • The Buccaneers likely re-signed Lonnie Pryor to their practice squad in anticipation of Jorvorskie Lane‘s suspension, Cummings tweets.
  • Bears cornerback Charles Tillman told Robert Klemko of The MMQB that he “maybe” has two years left in the tank. Tillman also says that divine intervention led him to sign with Chicago this offseason rather than join Lovie Smith with the Buccaneers.
  • In an investigative piece for ESPN The Magazine, Shaun Assael takes a look at the addiction issues battled by Colts owner Jim Irsay.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

AFC Notes: Titans, Ravens, Draft Visits

Titans edge defender Kamerion Wimbley agreed earlier this week to restructure his contract, and Jason Fitzgerald of has the breakdown of what Wimbley’s new deal looks like. However, as Fitzgerald details, Wimbley wasn’t the only Titan to rework his contract this week. Tight end Craig Stevens also has a new 2014 cap figure, reducing his overall base salary by $1.7MM in exchange for a $500K guarantee. While Stevens’ 2015 salary remains unchanged, his ’14 cap number is now only about $2.69MM.

Here’s more from around the AFC:

  • The Ravens haven’t had an above-average, long-term solution at right tackle for a number of years, and Mike Preston of the Baltimore Sun believes the team would be wise to address the position with its first-round pick this year. That’s one of a handful of topics Preston addresses in his Ravens notebook, which also touches on the club’s recent tight end and running back signings.
  • The Bills are eyeing a pair of offensive line prospects today, hosting Mississippi State’s Charles Siddoway for a pre-draft visit (Twitter link via Mike Rodak of and having dinner tonight with Texas A&M’s Jake Matthews (Twitter link via Joe Buscaglia of WGR 550 AM).
  • Having already met with the Steelers, Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard now has visits lined up with the Jets, Bengals, and Rams, as he said today on SiriusXM NFL Radio (Twitter link).
  • Another cornerback, Virginia Tech’s Kyle Fuller, also has a handful of visits scheduled with AFC teams, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. Fuller will meet with the Colts, Bengals, Raiders, Jets, Broncos, and Bears, says Wilson.
  • The Chargers will work out Troy quarterback Deon Anthony on April 22, reports Wilson at the National Football Post.
  • More from Wilson (via Twitter): The Patriots are working out Boise State’s Geraldo BoldewijnMatt Paradis, and Charles Leno on Wednesday, while Virginia-Lynchburg cornerback Keith Lewis visited the Raiders and has a private workout lined up next week with the Chiefs (Twitter link).