Tennessee Lands Former 49ers TE Delanie Walker
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (CBS/AP) — The Tennessee Titans promised to move quickly once free agency started, and they are doing just that after going 6-10 last season.
Once free agency began Tuesday, the Titans agreed to terms with San Francisco 49ers tight end Delanie Walker and Buffalo guard Andy Levitre, a person familiar with the situation said. The person spoke to The Associated Press Tuesday on condition of anonymity because the deals both are pending the players passing physicals.
Walker has spent his first seven NFL seasons with San Francisco. He has 123 career catches for 1,465 yards and eight touchdowns, and Walker caught 21 passes for 344 yards with three touchdowns last season for the 49ers. He will help replace Jared Cook, a tight end the Titans declined to tag as a franchise player last week because Cook wants to be paid more like a receiver.
Levitre will help plug a big hole on the Titans’ offensive line after five-time All-Pro left guard Steve Hutchinson announced his retirement earlier Tuesday. The Titans finished last season with four offensive linemen on injured reserve, and improving the line to help protect Jake Locker in his third season was a top priority. The 6-foot-2, 305-pound Levitre has started all 64 games in his four seasons with Buffalo.
The Tennessean, which first reported the deals for Levitre and Walker, says Levitre’s deal is for six years, $46.8 million.
The Titans also waived safety Jordan Babineaux and guard Mitch Petrus.
This is a big change for Tennessee after preferring to wait a few days into free agency in years past, looking for good bargains. The NFL lockout wiped out a real free agency before Munchak’s first season in 2011, and the Titans spent the first week of free agency chasing Peyton Manning under orders from owner Bud Adams before losing the four-time MVP to Denver.
The Titans got started in free agency last month when they signed veteran safety George Wilson to a contract after he was cut by the Bills as a salary cap casualty.
That left Babineaux expendable. He had signed a two-year deal in March 2012 after joining the Titans before the 2011 season. The safety played in all 16 games but started only 12. He was due to earn $1.6 million this season.
Petrus was signed when the Titans’ offensive line was hit by injuries late last season and played in two games with one start.
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