If the Tennessee Titans don’t end up with a full complement of capable wide receivers this fall, it won’t be for lack of effort.
Throughout the offseason they have made 14 transactions involving 11 different wide receivers. One was to re-sign free agent Marc Mariani. The rest involved newcomers to the team and/or the league as general manager Ruston Webster and the coaches search for depth behind the established trio of Nate Washington, Kendall Wright and Justin Hunter.
The latest move came Tuesday when Derek Hagan, an eighth-year veteran who has played with four different NFL teams, was signed. Lamont Bryant, who agreed to a future contract at the start of the offseason was waived.
Hagan, who has 129 career receptions, last played for Oakland in 2012.
“We’re just trying to get better as a team,” coach Ken Whisenhunt said. “That’s what we’re doing. We said many months ago that’s what we were going to continue to do and that’s what we’re doing – trying to create competition. Some guys are responding and some guys aren’t.”
A rundown of the Titans transactions involving wide receivers since the end of the 2013 season:
• Jan. 8: Signed three players, including wide receivers Lamont Bryant and Isaiah Williams, to future contracts.
• March 26: Re-signed unrestricted free agent Marc Mariani.
• May 2: Signed free agent Brian Robiskie following a tryout.
• May 12: Signed 12 undrafted rookie free agents, including wide receivers Jaz Reynolds, Josh Stewart, Derel Walker and Eric Ward.
• May 20: Waived injured wide receiver Eric Ward and signed free agent rookie wide receiver Julian Horton among a handful of other transactions.
• June 4: Waived injured wide receiver Josh Stewart.
• June 13: Signed free agent wide receiver Rico Richardson.
• June 17: Waived wide receiver Lamont Bryant; signed free agent wide receiver Derek Hagan.
It all means that the current roster includes 12 wide receivers. Only three – Wright, Hunter and Mariani – were Titans draft picks.
Hagan was a third-round pick by Miami in 2006, and Brian Robiskie was a second-round choice by Cleveland in 2009. Neither, though, has been with any team for three full seasons.
It’s far from a done deal either will be on the roster this fall because it seems unlikely the Titans are done making deals with wide receivers.
“I think it creates a sense of urgency among everybody,” quarterback Jake Locker said. “I’ve always [said] I don’t know why you wouldn’t compete like your job is on the line. But for guys that maybe feel comfortable in that spot it maybe creates that little bit of discomfort and maybe pushes them to a level they wouldn’t have gone to before.
“So I think it’s good for all of us.”