With training camp set to open tomorrow, the Titans are down a cornerback. Veteran defensive back Buster Skrine has informed the Titans that he’ll be retiring, according to Terry McCormick of TitansInsider.com.
“Buster Skrine informed us that he was going to retire, so I respect that decision, and I really respect Buster as a person and as a player,” coach Mike Vrabel said. “But he made a decision that he felt like was best for him and his family, and we’ll respect that and support him however we can.”
Skrine was a fifth-round pick out of Chattanooga in 2011. He spent his first four seasons in the NFL with the Browns, collecting 235 tackles and six interceptions in 64 games. He followed that up with a four-year stint with the Jets, and he’s since bounced around to the Bears, 49ers, and Titans. In total, he saw time in 158 career games (95 starts), compiling 590 tackles and 10 interceptions.
The 33-year-old joined the Titans midway through the 2021 season. He ended up seeing time in six games (three starts) for Tennessee, compiling 17 tackles, three passes defended, and one interception. Skrine also appeared in his first career playoff game, collecting a single tackle.
The cornerback was expected to stick around for the 2022 campaign as veteran depth. As McCormick notes, Greg Mabin is the only cornerback on the roster with more than two years experience, and he’s bounced on and off the roster in recent years. 2020 first-round pick Caleb Farley and former second-round pick Kristian Fulton are expected to start for Tennessee, leaving second-year nickelback Elijah Molden and rookie Roger McCreary as the top depth. General manager Jon Robinson said the Titans will likely “fill the spot” in the coming days.
“I was so proud he was a part of our team last year,” Robinson said. “After every game – we signed him midseason and he came in and contributed for us. I think he’s got 11 years in the league. The smile on his face – he gave me a big hug after every win. But you never know where guys are at health wise and with the game. I wish him nothing but the best. He was a great teammate. He worked hard. He was kind of an old soul, who showed up every day and was productive for us.”