Brett Kern

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.

Titans Sign P Brett Kern To Extension

The Titans have reached a long-term extension with punter Brett Kern, the club announced today. It’s a four-year worth $12.55MM, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, who adds Kern will receive a $2.2MM signing bonus.

Kern had already been under contract for 2019, so his extension will keep him in Tennessee through the 2023 campaign. In terms of new money, Kern will now earn roughly $3.14MM per season, a slight bump over his previous annual average of $3MM. That annual salary will keep him at sixth place among punters in yearly pay.

Kern, 33, originally entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2008, spending parts of two seasons in Denver before being claimed off waivers by the Titans in 2009. He’s now been in Tennessee for more than a decade, and posted his best performances in recent years, earning a second-team All-Pro nod in 2017 and Pro Bowl berths in both 2017 and 2018.

Last year, Kern ranked eighth in the league with a 41.7-yard net punting average and dropped 39 punts inside his opponents’ 20-yard line, good for second in the NFL. According to Football Outsiders’ special teams metrics, the Titans’ punt unit as a whole ranked roughly average, finishing 15th in point of field position added.

Contract Details: Franklin, Kern, Cole, Vereen

A few details on some noteworthy new contracts from around the NFL:

  • Orlando Franklin, G (Chargers): Five years, $35.5MM base value. $15.5MM fully guaranteed at signing (Twitter links via Tom Pelissero of USA Today).
  • Brett Kern, P (Titans): Five years, $15MM base value. $2.5MM signing bonus. $5MM guaranteed (Twitter link via Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.com).
  • Trent Cole, OLB (Colts): Two years, $14MM base value. $2MM signing bonus. $8MM guaranteed at signing. $1MM annually in playing-time/sack incentives (Twitter links via Joel Corry of CBSSports.com).
  • Shane Vereen, RB (Giants): Three years, $12.3MM base value. $3.5MM signing bonus. $4.75MM guaranteed (Twitter link via Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun).
  • J.T. Thomas, LB (Giants): Three years, $10MM base value. $4.5MM guaranteed. $1MM annual escalators in 2016, 2017 (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Virgil Green, TE (Broncos): Three years, $8.4MM base value. $4.2MM guaranteed. Max value of $11.25MM (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Sergio Brown, S (Jaguars): Three years, $7MM base value. $1MM guaranteed. Escalators can push total value up to $9MM (Twitter link via Pelissero).
  • Ed Dickson, TE (Panthers): Three years, $6.8MM base value. $2MM signing bonus ($700K deferred) (Twitter link via Pelissero).
  • Joe Berger, OL (Vikings): Two years, $2.155MM base value. $130K guaranteed. $800K available in incentives (Twitter link via Pelissero).