Justin Hunter knew well before training camp that the wide receiver position was going to be one of the team’s most competitive.
Now that the team has signed veteran Andre Johnson, well, it only makes securing a roster spot all the more challenging for Hunter.
“The competition builds and builds and builds,” Hunter said. “We’ve got more depth, another great receiver that’s on the team, so there’s a lot of pressure on a lot of people. You have to work a little harder and focus a little more, study a little harder, too.”
A second-round pick in 2013, Hunter isn’t accustomed to having to battle for job security, the story said. But he’s averaged just 22 catches over his first three seasons, and the fact that the Titans now have a glut of wide receivers – the group includes Johnson, Kendall Wright, Rishard Matthews, Dorial Green-Beckham, Tajae Sharpe and Harry Douglas – could leave Hunter vulnerable. In Saturday’s first day of training camp, Hunter often ran with the team’s third or fourth group of wide receivers.
Some say that receiver Roddy White’s expression of reluctance to sign with a non-contender means he has no viable options anywhere. That’s apparently not the case.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, White was — and still is — on the radar in Tennessee. But he won’t accept a minimum-salary offer. Andre Johnson did, which is why he was recently signed.
Johnson’s deal was not guaranteed, so the Titans can kick tires and, if they decide he can’t truly help the team, move on. Possibly back to White the story suggested. Other teams to watch for White, according to the story, include the obvious dot-connection to the Buccaneers, where former Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter is the head coach.
The Titans agreed to terms on a two-year deal with seven-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Andre Johnson on Friday, a team source told The Tennessean.
Johnson, 35, starred in his first 12 NFL seasons with the Texans before struggling last season with the Colts. Although he appears on the downside of his career, the 6-3, 229-pound veteran will still likely provide a reliable target for second-year quarterback Marcus Mariota and boost a Titans receiving corps that rated among the least productive in the league last season.
Johnson didn't seem to have much left with the Colts last year. And in a recent news story, one of four unnamed team execs said Johnson's upside was in some kind of limited role because of his size. Two of the four execs said he was done while one other said he could serve as a mentor. This particular story said Titans coach Mike Mularkey was impressed by Johnson's productivity in a limited role last season, because 24 of his 41 catches went for 10 yards or longer. It's doubtful Johnson is going to have a huge fantasy value but it's worth monitoring what his role is going to be with Tennessee.
As the clock ticks toward Saturday’s opening practice of camp for the Tennessee Titans, the roster stands at 89.
Will they use the 90th spot to sign veteran receiver Andre Johnson (35), who was one of several players who visited the team Tuesday?
That remains unclear, and a source said nothing is pending.
The author spoke to four personnel executives with other teams. Two of the four executives pretty much said Johnson is done. One other thought he could mentor, and the fourth said Johnson's size could at least be used in a limited role. From a fantasy perspective, none of the four made it seem like Johnson could have a big role with an NFL team, which doesn't bode well for fantasy purposes.