Brett Kern

Titans Set 53-Man Roster

The Titans have trimmed down their roster to 53 players:

Released:

Waived:

Waived/injured:

The Titans will open up at least one roster spot on Wednesday. Terry McCormick of TitansInsider.com writes that wide receiver Racey McMath is expected to land on short-term injured reserve. McMath sustained a hip injury during Tennessee’s preseason finale, and he’ll be sidelined for at least four weeks while sitting on IR. Robert Woods, Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, Treylon Burks, and Kyle Philips currently make up the Titans’ WR room, so there’s a chance one of the four wide receivers who were waived today (Dez FitzpatrickCody HollisterMason KinseyReggie Roberson) will end up back with the team.

Logan Woodside could also land back on the Titans practice squad after the team opted to keep only two QBs on their active roster (Ryan Tannehill, rookie Malik Willis). Woodside has seen time in 11 games for Tennessee over the past two years, completing one of his three pass attempts (he did break out a sweet 18-yard run, though).

Titans To Release P Brett Kern

The Titans will have a new punter for the first time in over a decade this season. The team is set to release veteran Brett Kern, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter (Twitter link). 

The 36-year-old was the longest-tenured player on the team, having started his 12-plus-year Nashville tenure in 2009. The move to the Titans came after being waived by the Broncos following 22 games in Denver. Since then, he has accumulated 197 appearances in Tennessee, which ranks third in Oilers/Titans franchise history.

Kern’s peak came during a three-year stretch from 2017-19. He was named a Pro Bowler in each of those seasons, earning All-Pro honors in two of them as well. During the 2017 campaign, the Toledo product led the NFL with a punt average of 49.7 yards. Overall, his average in that regard sits at 45.9, though his numbers have dropped during each of the past two seasons.

Kern had one season remaining on his current deal, which was set to pay him $2.2MM; the move will save Tennessee $1.2MM. With him off the roster, it appears that undrafted rookie Ryan Stonehouse will take over the team’s punting duties. During five seasons at Colorado State, he punted a total of 244 times at an average 47.8 yards, including a career-high 50.9 yards in 2021.

As Kern now looks for a new NFL home, many have suggested Buffalo as a logical landing spot. The Bills are currently without a punter, as they cut ties with sixth-round rookie Matt Araiza over the weekend in the wake of recent developments related to a suit naming him in gang rape allegations. As a native of Grand Island, New York, Kern signing with the Bills would not only fill the team’s roster void, but also represent a homecoming. Regardless of where he lands, the Titans will face some notable uncertainty this season on special teams.

Titans, P Kern Rework Contract

With Titans’ punter Brett Kern heading into the final year of his contract, he’s agreed to terms with Tennessee to take about a $1MM pay cut, according to Field Yates of ESPN (Twitter). The longtime Titan was set to earn $3.2MM to complete a four-year, $12.65MM deal, but will now make $2.2MM for the 2022 NFL season. 

The 14-year veteran is Tennessee’s longest-tenured player and has spent all but one of his NFL seasons in Tennessee after signing as an undrafted free agent in Denver. There are only four punters older than Kern and only Sam Koch, Andy Lee, and Dustin Colquitt have been in the league longer.

The three-time Pro Bowler’s play has dipped a bit in recent years. Since it’s mostly a result of the team’s offensive ability and a more successful offense can lower the number of a punter’s opportunities, it can be hard to truly gauge a punter’s play. Still, Kern pinned the opposing team’s offense inside the 20-yard line only 18 times last year, his lowest season total since his rookie season as a Bronco. He also missed three games for the second consecutive year.

Kern’s initial salary of $3.2MM would’ve made him the highest paid punter in the 2022 season (before Jake Bailey‘s proven performance bonus). With the updated number down to $2.2MM, Kern ranks as the ninth-highest paid punter for the upcoming year. The extra $1MM for Tennessee will grant them a bit of wiggle room for cap spending.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/22/21

Here are Friday’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Tennessee Titans

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: P Brett Kern

Free agents

Titans Place Ty Sambrailo On Reserve/Retired List

Veteran offensive lineman Ty Sambrailo may be walking away from football. The Titans placed the seventh-year tackle on their reserve/retired list Tuesday.

Sambrailo, 29, re-signed with the Titans this offseason. However, he will follow both Kevin Johnson and Abry Jones — both of whom 2021 free agency additions — in landing on the team’s retired list.

A former second-round pick, Sambrailo has been with the Titans since 2020. He filled in as a starter for the injured Taylor Lewan last season and started for the Titans in Week 2 of this year. The former Broncos and Falcons O-lineman has played in 71 career games, making 19 starts. Sambrailo suffered a knee injury that ended his 2020 season, however, and began Tennessee’s training camp on the PUP list.

The Titans gave Sambrailo a one-year, $1.9MM contract earlier this year. The Falcons gave him a three-year, $14.25MM deal but cut the Colorado State alum two years into it. Sambrailo was inactive for the Titans’ Week 5 game Sunday.

Tennessee also waived defensive lineman Woodrow Hamilton and signed offensive linemen Derwin Gray and Jimmy Murray to its practice squad Tuesday. Punter Brett Kern is also now on the Titans’ reserve/COVID-19 list. Kern tested positive, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets.

Titans To Sign Johnny Townsend

The Titans are set to sign punter Johnny Townsend (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo). This likely means that current punter Brett Kern will miss time as he recovers from a groin injury. 

At minimum, Townsend should see time against the Jets. A fifth-rounder in 2018, he spent his rookie year as the Raiders’ punter. The following year, he was leapfrogged by UDFA A.J. Cole. After leaving the Raiders with a 43.2 yards per kick average, he signed deals with the Giants and Chiefs, but did not play for either team. The Ravens did use him briefly last year though, trotting him out in the regular season finale.

The Titans were in a similar spot last year as Kern missed three games. It was a reminder of how critical a punter can be — fill-in Trevor Allen had a disastrous outing in a one-sided loss to the Colts. They’ll hope for better results this time around with Townsend.

The 2-1 Titans face the winless Jets this Sunday in New Jersey.

Minor NFL Transactions: 1/2/21

Here are Saturday’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

  • Signed off Jets’ practice squad: G Blake Hance
  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: S Karl Joseph
  • Promoted: G Cordell Iwuagwu, LB Montrel Meander, T Alex Taylor

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Promoted: DB John Brannon

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/29/20

Here are Tuesday’s minor moves:

Dallas Cowboys

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/28/20

Here are Saturday’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

  • Promoted: QB Reid Sinnett

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Placed on IR: G Sua Opeta

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Titans Sign P Ryan Allen

As Brett Kern deals with a wrist injury, the Titans have turned to one of the top punters on the market. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports (via Twitter) that Tennessee has signed Ryan Allen.

Allen made a name for himself by spending the first six seasons of his career with the Patriots, winning three Super Bowl rings. The Louisiana Tech product was a standout during Super Bowl LIII, with three of his five punts pinning the Rams inside the 20-yard line.

He inked a one-year extension with the Patriots the following offseason, but he ultimately lost his job to rookie Jake Bailey ahead of the 2019 campaign. Allen subsequently signed with the Falcons, and he proceeded to appear in eight games for them during the 2019 campaign. The 30-year-old was cut by Atlanta back in August, and he’s been sitting in free agency ever since.

In Tennessee, Allen will be reuniting with former Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski, although you’ve got to assume that Allen’s stay with the Titans will be short. After all, Kern is a three-time Pro Bowler, and while his wrist injury will sideline him this weekend against the Bears, he should probably be back before the season ends.