The Tennessee Titans reached the 53-man roster limit Saturday by releasing linebacker Ryan Fowler, running back Quinton Ganther and defensive end Larry Birdine
The Titans waived/injured Ganther, a move that allowed them to keep Chris Henry on the roster. Henry has $420,000 due him in 2010 that would have accelerated onto the 2009 salary cap had the Titans let him go.
The Titans also waived 19 other players, but their agents were notified on Friday of their impending releases Saturday.
Fowler signed with the Titans in 2007 as a restricted free agent from the Dallas Cowboys, agreeing to a four-year, $11.5 million deal at the time. He took over the starting middle linebacker role immediately, beating out Stephen Tulloch for the job.
However, Tulloch assumed the starting role in 2008, relegating Fowler to backup and special teams status.
The release of Ganther means that Henry, a second-round pick in 2007 who has been used sparingly, has made the cut. Ganther suffered a calf injury in the preseason finale Thursday night against Green Bay that hurt his chances of making the final roster. The Titans reached an injury settlement with him as he was waived/injured.
As for Birdine, the one-time Titans practice squad player, had a strong camp but was too far down the depth chart at defensive end to stick on the roster.
The Titans might not be through tinkering with the roster, as they will sift through the cuts of the 31 other teams see if they can find a potential punt or kickoff returner or depth in the secondary.
Key releases among those notified on Friday included kick returner/wide receiver Mark Jones, linebackers Rocky Boiman and Josh Stamer and cornerback DeMarcus Faggins.
The Titans also have to establish an eight-man practice squad on Sunday and some of their cuts this week – guard Fernando Velasco, receiver Phillip Morris, punter A.J. Trapasso and defensive tackle Mitch King – are possibilities to be added back to the team in that capacity.
Others let go Friday included fullback/tight end Casey Cramer, receiver Paul Williams, safeties Nick Schommer and Tuff Harris, cornerback Tanard Davis and offensive linemen Cory Lekkerkerker, Ryan Durand and Jason Murphy, fullback Rodney Ferguson, tight end Matthew Mulligan and defensive tackle LaJuan Ramsey.