Rob Bironas

Extra Points: Bironas, Harrison, Rudolph

Rob Bironas was planning to continue his NFL career before his unexpected death earlier this week, according to Titans punter Brett Kern. “I talked to him on Friday, because he had the workout with the Lions, and he was so excited that it went well. I told him I was proud of him,’ and that’s the last thing I told him,” Kern told reporters, including Jim Wyatt of The Tennesseean. “He was really looking forward to signing with another team.” More from around the NFL..

  • James Harrison‘s deal with the Steelers is for the veteran’s minimum, minus the three games already played, tweets Ed Bouchette of the Post-Gazette. Including his $65K bonus, he’ll collect just over $851K for this season.
  • There’s a chance Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph could be placed on the IR-DTR list, but “probably not,” head coach Mike Zimmer told reporters, including Matt Vensel of the Star Tribune (on Twitter).
  • Free agent cornerback Champ Bailey feels healthy and tells Adam Schefter of (on Twitter) that he is willing to play nickel or safety if that’s what it takes to land a job somewhere.
  • Teammate Tyvon Branch is headed to the IR, but the Raiders got some good news on teammate Rod Streater. His agent tells Bill Williamson of (on Twitter) that Streater only requires minor surgery and hopes to return in 4-5 weeks.

Rob Bironas Passes Away In Car Crash

Long-time Titans kicker Rob Bironas, 36, passed away in a single-vehicle crash in Nashville late Saturday evening, reports Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean. Wyatt writes that Bironas was traveling at a high rate of speed and ultimately lost control of his SUV, which “went off the road and hit several trees before ending up in a drainage culvert, upside down.” Area police said there was no evidence of alcohol at the scene and that Bironas appeared to be on his way home.

Bironas was a first-team All-Pro in 2007, converting 35 of 39 field goal attempts, including four out of five attempts from 50+ yards. For his career, Bironas converted 239 of 279 attempts, good for an 85.7% success rate.

In an attempt to continue his career, Bironas–along with a handful of other veteran kickers–tried out for the Lions several days ago, and our Luke Adams wrote two weeks ago that Bironas and David Akers were working out together to keep themselves fresh in case an opportunity should arise. Bironas was released by the Titans in March in a cost-cutting move–he carried a $3.88MM cap figure–that also had to do with his declining performance on kickoffs. He also worked out for the Buccaneers in August.

Our thoughts and condolences are with Bironas’ friends and family.

Lions Worked Out Kickers, Beauharnais

The Lions conducted workouts with several veteran players today, including a handful of kickers, according to various reports. Adam Schefter of reports (via Twitter) that Rob Bironas, Alex Henery, and Garrett Hartley all auditioned for the club, while Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun tweets that former Patriots linebacker Steve Beauharnais was also in Detroit for a tryout.

While Beauharnais’ workout looks fairly standard, the fact that Detroit brought in multiple veteran kickers is notable. Rookie Nate Freese won the job in the preseason, but he has struggled out of the gate for the Lions — he has made just two of five field goal attempts so far, with both converted tries coming from inside 30 yards.

Birons, Henery, and Hartley were the starting kickers for the Titans, Eagles, and Saints respectively for most or all of last season, and could prove to be more reliable than Freese. I’d expect the Lions to give their seventh-round pick at least one more chance to straighten things out, but his leash may not be much longer than that.

FA Workouts: Kickers, Seahawks, Chiefs, Bills

A pair of veteran kickers, David Akers and Rob Bironas, have been working out together in Tennessee and hope to continue their NFL careers this season, a source tells Adam Caplan of (Twitter link). While there are no openings at the position around the league for now, it’s probably just a matter of time until a kicker gets hurt or loses his job after missing a few field goals, and Akers and Bironas look like two of the most reliable options available. I expect we’ll see them on NFL rosters at some point this season.

Here’s more on free agents looking for new teams:

  • On the lookout for some help at cornerback after placing Jeremy Lane on injured reserve, the Seahawks worked out Mike Harris and Keith Lewis today, according to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post.
  • The Chiefs will also be looking for some reinforcements on defense after seeing two key players go down with major Achilles injuries on Sunday. Jason La Canfora of tweets that defensive end Jerel Worthy, who was recently cut by the Patriots, was among the players auditioning for Kansas City today.
  • Defensive end James Davidson, a UTEP alum who was in camp with the Bengals, is working out for the Bills today, according to Caplan (via Twitter).
  • Caplan also provides an update (via Twitter) on ex-Eagles wideout Arrelious Benn, who isn’t trying out for any teams yet, but received a six-week injury settlement from Philadelphia and hopes to be ready to return to action even earlier than that.

Rob Bironas Works Out For Buccaneers

Longtime Titans kicker Rob Bironas was released by the Titans in a cost-cutting move earlier this offseason, but the veteran free agent appears to be on the lookout for a new job for the 2014 season. According to, Bironas worked out for the Buccaneers this morning. The club also took a look at former Texas punter and kicker Anthony Fera.

Connor Barth, who is coming off an Achilles injury that sidelined him for the 2013 season, is currently lined up to be the team’s regular kicker for 2014. While Barth was effective before his injury and seems to have fully recovered, he’s owed a $2MM base salary, along with up to $1.15MM in per-game roster bonuses for the coming season, so perhaps Tampa Bay views Bironas as a less expensive option who will post similar numbers. For his part, Bironas has remained accurate in recent years, converting field goals at an 87.3% rate over the last four seasons, including 86.2% last year.

Like Barth, incumbent Bucs punter Michael Koenen also isn’t on a cheap contract, as he’s set to earn a $3.25MM base salary in 2014 after ranking as the 23rd-best and 24th-best punter in the NFL over the last two seasons, according to Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics (subscription required).

For now, it doesn’t appear as if the Bucs are interested in making significant alterations to their special teams unit, but the fact that the team is looking at other options could signal potential changes down the road.

Titans Release Rob Bironas

12:28pm: The Titans have confirmed Bironas’ release (via Twitter).

12:18pm: The Titans will be releasing veteran kicker Rob Bironas today, reports Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean (via Twitter). According to Wyatt (via Twitter), the club wants to get younger at the position and create competition. Maikon Bonani, who signed a futures contract with the team at the end of the regular season, is among the candidates in the mix for the 2014 job.

Bironas, 36, converted 25 of 29 field goals for the Titans in 2013, along with all 41 of his extra-point tries. However, Wyatt suggests (via Twitter) that the team was concerned with his declining performance on kickoffs. Bironas’ $3.875MM cap number probably played a significant part in the decision as well, as Tennessee can reduce to that figure to just 750K in dead money by cutting him.

The longtime Titan, who racked up 1,032 points during his nine seasons with the franchise, will join an underwhelming group of free agent kickers that also includes David Akers, Rian Lindell, and Lawrence Tynes.