Jackie Battle

Titans Links: Locker, Battle, Walker

Jake Locker finds himself on the hot seat in Tennessee entering the final year of his rookie contract, with the team declining to exercise his fifth-year option as a former first-round pick. Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.com points out four ways Locker can turn around his career. While he highlights external factors, such as health, coaching, and having a strong running game and defense, he acknowledges that it might not be enough if Locker does not progress.

Here are some other links from around Titans camp:

Contract Updates: Jets, Bills, Ratliff, Titans

Restricted free agent cornerback Darrin Walls agreed to a new deal with the Jets last night, and agent Jordan Woy tweets that it’s a two-year contract. Ellis Lankster, who also agreed on a new deal with the Jets, will be on a two-year, $1.63MM contract, according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News (Twitter link). Lankster’s pact appears to be worth slightly more than the minimum.

With free agency looming and several players having already signed new contracts or reworked old ones, we have plenty more contract and cap updates to pass along, so let’s dive right in….

  • The Bills extended contract tenders to all four of their exclusive rights free agents, and cornerback Brandon Smith has accepted his, according to Joe Buscaglia of WGR550 (Twitter links). With Smith set to return to the team on a one-year, minimum-salary deal, offensive guard Antoine McClain, fullback Frank Summers, and wide receiver Chris Hogan will also be back in Buffalo if and when they sign their tenders.
  • Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (Twitter link) has the details on Jeremiah Ratliff‘s new two-year contract with the Bears. It’s worth a total of $4MM, with $600K guaranteed.
  • The cap figures on Troy Polamalu‘s new three-year contract with the Steelers are $6.387MM (2014), $8.25MM (2015), and $8MM (2016), with respective base salaries of $1.5MM, $6MM, and $5.75MM, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link).
  • The Browns have extended a contract tender to inside linebacker Craig Robertson, according to Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal. Robertson, who was an exclusive rights free agent, will be in line for a minimum salary of $570K for 2014.
  • New one-year deals for running backs Jackie Battle (Titans) and Bobby Rainey (Bucs) are both worth the minimum, according to Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean and Tom Pelissero of USA Today, respectively (Twitter links). Battle’s minimum salary ($855K) is a little more substantial than Rainey’s ($570K) due to his extra years of service time.
  • Wyatt also shares (via Twitter) a few more specifics on Bernard Pollard‘s two-year deal with the Titans, which has base salaries of $1.65MM in 2014 and $3.1MM in 2015.

Titans Re-Sign Jackie Battle

The Titans have re-signed running back Jackie Battle, reports Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean (via Twitter). In an additional tweet, Wyatt says the deal is for one year.

Battle spent the first four seasons of his career with the Chiefs before playing one season with the Chargers in 2012. Last season, the 30-year-old ran for 142 yards on 36 carries as the Titans third-string back behind Chris Johnson and Shonn Greene. Battle was also useful on special teams, where he compiled seven total tackles.

Battle made $715K last season, $21K of which was surrendered to the NFL for violating the “Trent Richardson rule.”

Titans Rumors: Verner, Free Agents, Britt

There’s some concern that free agent cornerback Alterraun Verner may be out of the Titans’ price range, writes Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean. The club has spoken to Verner’s agent and hasn’t ruled out using its franchise tag, but indications are that Tennessee won’t franchise its standout cornerback, who figures to attract several big-money suitors on the open market, says Wyatt. Here’s more on the Titans from the Tennessean scribe:

  • Within the same piece, Wyatt suggests that locking up Verner may require a deal similar to the one the Titans gave Jason McCourty, who is averaging $8.6MM per year.
  • GM Ruston Webster on Verner, and free agents in general: “You have to look at where he is going to fit in your puzzle with the salary cap, with the value, whatever you set his value at. You want to get good players on your team. We try and get as many of those as we can everywhere, but obviously you have to spread it out some, so you have to be careful that way.”
  • There are indications that the Titans have spoken to – or plan to speak to – the agents for several prospective free agents, writes Wyatt, listing running back Jackie Battle, wide receivers Damian Williams and Marc Mariani, return specialist Leon Washington and offensive lineman Chris Spencer.
  • One free agent with whom the team appears ready to part ways? Wide receiver Kenny Britt. Unsurprisingly, Wyatt tweets that Tennessee has no plans to re-sign Britt.