Derek Hagan

AFC Notes: Titans, Bortles, Bills, Raiders

Chris Johnson has never rushed for fewer than 1,047 yards in an NFL season, but with his cap number on the rise and the price of running backs around the league on the decline, the Titans decided to release him this offseason. As the new Jets running back tells Brian Costello of the New York Post, Tennessee’s decision will provide plenty of incentive for him to succeed in 2014 and beyond.

“Of course I have a chip on my shoulder,” Johnson said. “It gives me more motivation to continue to work hard and come here and be that guy I’ve been my whole career. I want to prove [the Titans] wrong. They released me and I want to let them know they made a mistake.”

Here’s more from around the AFC, including a couple items related to Johnson’s old team:

  • In a piece for the Tennessean, Jim Wyatt surveys the Titans‘ landscape at wide receiver, and looks specifically at the odds of journeyman Derek Hagan cracking the regular season roster. Like fellow Titans beat writer Paul Kuharsky, Wyatt suggests it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Tennessee add another receiver to the roster in August or even September.
  • No. 3 overall pick Blake Bortles is on board with the decision to sit in his rookie season, with Chad Henne starting at quarterback for the Jaguars. However, as he tells NFL Media’s Bryan Fischer, Bortles will be ready if he’s called upon earlier than expected.
  • The Bills will have some decisions to make soon on their running backs, writes Mike Rodak of ESPN.com, who says he thinks Buffalo wants Bryce Brown to develop into one of the team’s lead backs. If that’s the case, the futures of C.J. Spiller or Fred Jackson, who are both eligible for free agency in 2015, figure to be up in the air.
  • After an offseason which saw the Raiders add several veteran free agents, including some with championship experience, cornerback Taiwan Jones believes there’s a different feeling in Oakland heading into this season, according to Eddie Paskal of Raiders.com.

Titans To Sign Derek Hagan

The Titans have agreed to terms with veteran wideout Derek Hagan, the team announced today (via Twitter). Another receiver, Lamont Bryant, was cut to clear room on the roster for Hagan.

Hagan, 29, has bounced around the league, playing for several teams since being drafted by Miami in the third round in 2006. In 83 career regular-season contests for the Dolphins, Giants, Bills, and Raiders, the Arizona State product has grabbed 129 balls for 1,480 yards and six touchdowns.

Hagan sat out the 2013 season after being released by Tampa Bay in training camp, but indicated back in April (Twitter link) that he hoped to return to the NFL for the ’14 campaign. He figures to compete for a spot on Tennessee’s 53-man roster this summer.