Marc Mariani

Titans Sign Marc Mariani

After having spent the past couple of seasons in Chicago, Marc Mariani is back in Tennessee. According to Jim Wyatt of, the Titans have signed the veteran WR/KR. The team has waived wideout Tre McBride to make the necessary roster spot, tweets ESPN’s Adam Caplan.

Jan 3, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears wide receiver Marc Mariani (80) during the game against the Detroit Lions at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

The former seventh-round pick broke onto the scene with the Titans as a rookie in 2010. The returner ended up making the Pro Bowl that season after having collected 27 punts for 329 yards and a touchdown and another 60 kickoffs for 1,530 yards and a touchdown. 2011 was another solid season for Mariani, but injuries kept him off the field in 2012 and 2013.

The receiver was ultimately cut by the Titans, and he landed on the Bears. In 2015, the 29-year-old finished with 29 punt returns for 129 yards, as well as 16 kick returns for 418 yards. Mariani also finished with career-highs in receptions (22) and receiving yards (300). The Bears re-signed the veteran this offseason, but he was cut by the squad this weekend.

McBride, a seventh-round pick out of William & Mary, initially made the Titans roster over former second-rounder Justin Hunter.

Bears’ Roster At 53

The Bears have officially reduced their roster to 53 players, and in doing so, placed LB Pernell McPhee and WR Marquess Wilson on PUP. As such, each player will be forced to miss at leas the first six games of the season.




  • LB Pernell McPhee
  • WR Marquess Wilson

Braverman was the club’s seventh-round pick this year after posting a whopping 109 receptions for Western Michigan in 2015.

Moeaki has bounced around a bit since leaving the Chiefs in 2012. The 29-year-old played in 11 games for the Falcons last season, but he only hauled in three catches for 58 yards. Following a 2012 campaign where he caught 33 passes for 453 yards and a score, Moeaki has only compiled 11 catches for 192 yards over the past three seasons.

NFC Contract Details: Starks, Galette, Mathis

Here are several of the latest contract details on deals which were agreed upon or signed within the last week. All links are courtesy of Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle unless otherwise indicated.

NFC North:

  • James Starks, RB (Packers): Two years, $6MM. $1.5MM signing bonus. $300K in annual per-game active roster bonuses. Up to $600K in annual Pro Bowl and rushing-yard incentives (Twitter link).
  • Andre Smith, T (Vikings): One year, $3.5MM. $500K of $2.5MM base salary guaranteed. $250K in per-game active roster bonuses. Up to $1MM in playing-time and Pro Bowl incentives (Twitter link).
  • Terence Newman, CB (Vikings): One year, $2.5MM. $1MM guaranteed. $250K in per-game active roster bonuses. Up to $500K in playing-time incentives (Twitter link via Tom Pelissero of USA Today).
  • Mitch Unrein, DL (Bears): Two years, $2.26MM. $500K guaranteed. $300K signing bonus. $200K roster bonus due April 1. $500K base escalator for 2017 (Twitter link).
  • Matt Asiata, RB (Vikings): One year, $840K. $60K signing bonus. Up to $500K in playing-time, rushing-yard, and catch incentives (Twitter link).
  • Marc Mariani, WR (Bears): One year, minimum salary benefit. $80K signing bonus (Twitter link).

NFC East:

  • Nolan Carroll, CB (Eagles): One year, $2.36MM. Can be worth up to $3MM. $1MM in per-game active roster bonuses. $600K for eight games active. Up to $640K in playing-time and Pro Bowl incentives (Twitter link).
  • Junior Galette, OLB (Washington): One year, $1.6MM. Can be worth up to $4.1MM. $1MM base salary. $500K in per-game active roster bonuses. Up to $2.5MM in playing-time, Pro Bowl, and sack incentives (Twitter link).
  • Will Blackmon, CB (Washington): Two years, $2.05MM. $150K signing bonus (Twitter link via John Keim of
  • Josh LeRibeus, G/C (Washington): One year, minimum salary benefit. $80K signing bonus (Twitter link).

NFC West:

  • Evan Mathis, G (Cardinals): One year, $4MM. Can be worth up to $6MM. $3MM guaranteed. $2MM signing bonus. $1MM guaranteed base salary. $1MM in per-game active roster bonuses. Up to $2MM in playing-time, Pro Bowl, and All-NFL incentives (Twitter link).

Bears Bring Back Marc Mariani

The Bears’ busy afternoon continued, with the team announcing (on Twitter) it has re-signed Marc Mariani on a one-year deal.

Mostly used as a kick returner in Chicago, Mariani generated a modest market for himself this week, with the Raiders, 49ers and other teams inquiring about his future.

Mariani signed with the Bears prior to the 2014 season after spending the first four years of his career with the Titans. The 28-year-old wide receiver averaged 26.5 yards per kick return — on 16 returns — last season for the Bears.

A one-time Pro Bowler, Mariani saw by far the most time as a receiver last season, with the Bears besieged by injuries to their receiving corps. Mariani caught 22 passes for 300 yards in 2015 after not catching a single pass from 2012-14.

Free Agency Rumors: Dolphins, Penn, Bushrod

Before he agreed to terms with Philadelphia, new Eagles linebacker Nigel Bradham also received interest from the Browns, Buccaneers and Jaguars, as he tells Alex Marvez of FOX Sports (Twitter link). Bradham further stated that his former team, the Bills, backed out of contract talks.

Meanwhile, in addition to having lost out on Bradham, the Browns swung and missed on receiver Rishard Matthews, according to Adam Caplan of (Twitter link). Caplan reports that Cleveland was one of several teams in play for Matthews, who agreed to sign with Tennessee on a three-year deal.

After a busy day around the NFL, we still have a few more rumors related to free agents who signed today, and free agents who are still on the market. Let’s dive in…

  • The Dolphins aren’t looking to invest much money in a backup quarterback, Marvez tweets. Matt Moore is paying a visit to the Cowboys this week, and it seems Moore may not be back in Miami for the 2016 season.
  • The Giants have shown interest in free agent left tackle Donald Penn, according to Jordan Raanan of (Twitter link). The reliable Penn has started 16 games in eight straight seasons, including the last two in Oakland.
  • Offensive tackle Jermon Bushrod, whom the Bears cut last month, is garnering “ample interest” in spite of recent shoulder surgery, reports Jason La Canfora of (on Twitter). He’s planning to visit the Dolphins and Vikings, La Canfora adds.
  • Prior to re-signing with the Bengals, cornerback Adam Jones drew the Vikings’ attention, he told Geoff Hobson of On Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer, Jones said, “I love Zim. He really treated me well through this, but this is the place where I know.”
  • At least four teams – including the Bears – have expressed interest in return man Marc Mariani, per Jeff Dickerson of (Twitter link). Paul Gutierrez of reports that the 49ers and Raiders are also among those clubs in the mix for Mariani, who played the last two seasons in Chicago.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Minor Moves: Tuesday

In addition to making practice squad changes, teams around the league are also adding and subtracting players from their 53-man rosters today. We’ll round up some of those minor transactions in this space, with the latest moves added at the top of the list:

  • The Texans have released Ricky Sapp from injured reserve, according to Wilson (on Twitter). Sapp was placed on IR on October 7th to make room for the signing of linebacker John Simon to the 53-man roster.
  • The Titans have cut linebacker James Anderson, according to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post (on Twitter). Anderson, 31, started all 16 games last season for the Bears. While Pro Football Focus’ metrics (subscription required) ranked Anderson 33rd out of 35 qualified 4-3 outside linebackers in 2013, his poor grade was due in large part to subpar performance against the run — he was one of the league’s more effective linebackers in pass coverage. This year he saw time in seven games as a reserve.
  • The Bears have added receiver and return man Marc Mariani to their roster on a two-year contract, waiving safety Ahmad Dixon to make room for the incoming player, the team announced today (Twitter link).

Earlier updates:

  • The Cardinals had hoped Troy Niklas‘ ankle injury wouldn’t be season-ending, but that optimism didn’t last long. As Darren Urban of writes, the team placed the rookie tight end on injured reserve today, ending his season. To replace Niklas, the Cards signed veteran tight end Matthew Mulligan, who was on the Bears’ roster earlier this season.
  • The Seahawks have officially confirmed the previously-reported signings of offensive lineman Lemuel Jeanpierre and defensive tackle Travian Robertson, cutting offensive tackle Andrew McDonald and defensive back Steven Terrell to accommodate the new additions. Jeanpierre and Robertson will get a chance to play at center and defensive tackle, respectively, with Max Unger and Brandon Mebane injured.
  • Chargers offensive lineman Jeromey Clary has been ruled out for the season and will remain on the reserve/PUP list, the team announced today in a press release. Clary needed to start practicing today if he hoped to play this season, but his hip injury will keep him sidelined until 2015.

Titans Cut Mooney, Mariani, Others

SATURDAY, 4:29pm : In addition to trading DE Lavar Edwards to the Cowboys, the Titans have announced the following roster moves:


  • Maikon Bonani (K)
  • Moise Fokou (LB)
  • Will Poehls (OT)
  • Rico Richardson (WR)
  • Winston Wright (CB)

Placed on injured reserve:

FRIDAY, 3:36pm: The Titans have released fullback Collin Mooney and wide receiver Marc Mariani, according to Jim Wyatt of The Tennesseean (on Twitter). Terry McCormick of FOX 17 (on Twitter) adds defensive lineman Chigbo Anonuby to that list. As we passed along earlier today, offensive lineman Jeff Adams, defensive lineman Marcus Dixonand offensive lineman Justin McCray were also let go. Here’s the full list of Titans cuts from today:

Sunday Roundup: Clemens, Fairley, Bortles

The preseason has reached its unofficial halfway point, and teams must trim their rosters to 75 players in just over a week from now. As position competitions continue to smolder and as bubble players strive to prove themselves in preseason contests, let’s take a look at some notes from around the league:

  • Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean offers some lessons learned from the Titans‘ second preseason game against the Saints. He notes that Travis Coons‘ accuracy has made the kicking competition with Maikon Bonani much more interesting than anticipated, and while return specialist Marc Mariani still faces an uphill battle to make the club, his returns on Saturday night have kept him in the picture.
  • Jamison Hensley of believes the Ravens should keep starting corners Lardarius Webb and Jimmy Smith on the shelf until the regular season opener against the Bengals. Baltimore has been “snakebitten” at the cornerback position and Hensley believes the team’s best bet is to hope that a decent player gets released as the preseason rolls on. He writes that, if free agents like Asante Samuel and Dunta Robinson could help, they would have jobs by now.
  • Kevin Acee of U-T San Diego writes that the Chargers are thrilled to have Kellen Clemens as Philip Rivers‘ backup, as they are confident Clemens could win games for them if he were pressed into duty.
  • Mike Klis of the Denver Post ranks undrafted free agent Juwan Thompson as the Broncos‘ biggest training camp surprise. Though Thompson entered camp as the No. 6 tailback on the roster, he now appears to have a legitimate shot at making the club.
  • Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press writes that the Lions need to salvage Nick Fairley, who represents their last hope from the now infamous 2011 draft, but if Fairley does not show improvement soon, he could be a midseason trade candidate.
  • Birkett (Twitter links) and Michael Rothstein of offer brief discussions of the Lions‘ wide receiver competition and predict which wideouts may make the club.
  • Rob Demovsky of provides a list of which Packers bubble players helped themselves and who hurt themselves in Saturday’s preseason game against the Rams.
  • Ben Volin of the Boston Globe believes the Browns and Jaguars should hand the reins to Blake Bortles and Johnny Manziel right away, rather than have them sit behind the players they will eventually overtake. Since Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan led their clubs to the playoffs during their rookie seasons in 2008, rookie quarterbacks have fared very well when thrown into the fire from day one. For what it’s worth, Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida-Times Union tweets that Bortles will finally get reps with the first team offense on Monday and could play with the ones in the second quarter in the team’s upcoming preseason game against the Lions.

Ken Whisenhunt Talks Titans’ Preseason

Titans’ head coach Ken Whisenhunt had a lot to say about his team’s performance Friday night, remaining optimistic despite the 31-24 loss to the Saints. Terry McCormick of reported many of Whisenhunt’s best statements and responses in a series of tweets.

Here are some of the highlights, as reported by McCormick (all links via Twitter).

  • On Jake Locker‘s performance: For his first chance of really operating the offense, did a nice job in reads and handling the environment.”
  • On Zach Mettenberger’s performance: Great experience for him, and he made some plays. Had some turnovers, but needs to learn from them.” Whisenhunt also noted that although he fumbled again this week, it was much closer to being an incomplete pass.
  • On Bishop Sankey’s fumbling problems: He’s a rookie and he’s going to have to work through that.”
  • On the kicker competition: Travis Coons‘ field goal very impressive and Maikon Bonani did well on kickoffs.” He wouldn’t say who has the edge at this time.
  • On the kick returner competition: Marc Mariani has done well on returns, but the team will allow Leon Washington and Dexter McCluster to get opportunities later in preseason. Both have a great body of work, and Whisenhunt knows what they can do.

Contract Details: Schaub, Allen, Ihedigbo

Matt Schaub‘s reworked deal with the Raiders includes pay cuts in both 2014 and 2015, according to Tom Pelissero of USA Today (Twitter link), who identifies Schaub’s new cap numbers as $8MM (2014) and $5.5MM (2015). The contract now includes $3MM in performance-based incentives in both 2014 and 2015, but the 2016 season has been totally removed, according to Pelissero (Twitter links). Jason Fitzgerald breaks down the new-look deal in chart form at

Here are a few more contract details from around the NFL:

  • Jared Allen‘s deal with the Bears includes guaranteed base salaries of $3MM in 2014 and $1MM for 2015, with an $11.5MM ’15 roster bonus guaranteed for skill and injury, says Albert Breer of the NFL Network (Twitter links). As Breer notes, the $8.5MM and $8MM salaries for 2016 and 2017 essentially amount to team options, and if Allen posts 12+ sacks in any season between 2014 and 2016, the final year of the contract voids.
  • According to Adam Caplan of (Twitter links), James Ihedigbo‘s two-year pact with the Lions functions more like a one-year deal, with a roster bonus decision due in March 2015. The contract, which will be worth $3.15MM ($750K guaranteed) over two years, would see the safety earn $1.525MM in 2014 and $1.625MM in 2015, if he sticks.
  • Paul McQuistan‘s two-year, $3MM contract with the Browns features annual base salaries of $855K (2014) and $1.395MM (2015), with up to $1MM per year in incentives, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun.
  • Wilson tweets that Marc Mariani‘s one-year deal with the Titans is a minimum salary contract, with an extra $40K workout bonus. It also features a split salary as an IR precaution for the oft-injured receiver.