The Tennessee Titans released kicker Maikon Bonani, who was the odds-on favorite to win the job entering training camp.
Bonani’s release means that undrafted rookie Travis Coons, of Washington, who made all of his field goal and extra point attempts in the regular season is the Titans kicker – for now.
Tennessee could still pick up a kicker who is let go in final cuts Tuesday by another team as there are several battles going on around the league. On Friday, the Bucs released Connor Barth and Monday the Eagles let go of their kicker, Alex Henery.
The Titans also worked out veteran kickers Jay Feely, Garrett Hartley and Rian Lindell last week. A veteran would more than likely be signed after week one, so the Titans would not be on the hook for a full salary in the event that kicker was later let go.
Bonani missed one of the longer extra points in the preseason opener against the Packers and also missed a 33-yard field goal in Thursday’s preseason finale against the Vikings.
The Titans released veteran linebacker Moise Fokou, who spent most of the preseason and training camp running with the third team.
Fokou, the team’s primary starting middle linebacker in 2013, was largely a victim of the team’s switch from a 4-3 scheme to a 3-4 system under Ray Horton.
But with the signing of inside linebacker Wesley Woodyard and the drafting of Avery Williamson, it was clear that Fokou would face an uphill fight to keep his roster spot.
Colin McCarthy’s injury helped, but it appears that with the last linebacker spot being a big special teams role, the Titans have apparently chosen Patrick Bailey, their special teams captain last year, over Fokou.
In one of their final moves to get to 53 players, the Titans reportedly dealt defensive end Lavar Edwards to the Dallas Cowboys.
The Cowboys have been desperate for pass rush help along the defensive front, and in a move first reported by ESPN’s Todd Archer, have acquired Edwards in exchange for a conditional seventh-round draft choice. TitanInsider was able to confirm the trade a short time later.
Edwards, a fifth-round pick by the Titans from LSU in 2013, did not really fit the Titans new 3-4 system, as his 6-4, 278-pound frame was a little too light to be a five-technique end. The Cowboys’ acquisition gives him a chance to not only be a 4-3 end again, but also to help a Dallas team that is struggling to find defensive help this season.
With Edwards moving on, it means that the Titans havekept Karl Klug and Mike Martin, who were considered the primary competition for a backup end spot on the Tennessee defensive line.
The Titans have waived three undrafted players who were in the final mix for roster spots and placed defensive tackle Antonio Johnson on injured reserve to get to the 53-man limit.
Among those let go that had not already been reported were receiver Rico Richardson, a first-year player signed in June, rookie tackle Will Poehls and rookie cornerback Winston Wright. All three could be candidates for the practice squad.
The Titans went a little heavy on the offensive line, keeping nine players as opposed to eight, holding on to veterans Chris Spencer, Steve Vallos and Byron Stingily, in addition to their five starters and first-round pick Taylor Lewan, a backup tackle for now.
Johnson suffered a knee injury and missed the entire preseason, even having the injury scoped. It was believed that he might not have been far away from playing, but with the Titans already having three nose tackles in Sammie Hill, Al Woods and DaQuan Jones, it was the easiest move to make rather than wait on Johnson to get healthy and lose another roster spot.
The Titans now will turn their attention to the waiver wire, where they are sure to look for help at receiver, defensive back and kicker among the positions that are either thin or inexperienced.