Titans set for another two-year run with another veteran quarterback

Monday, March 18, 2013 at 10:41pm

Kerry Collins was the exception.

Beginning with Jeff Fisher’s first full season as head coach the most common shelf life of veteran quarterbacks with the Tennessee Titans/Houston Oilers has been two years.

That has been the case whether the player was a starter, Chris Chandler (1995-96), a backup, Dave Kreig (1997-98) or a little of both as was the case with Matt Hasselbeck, whose tenure with the team ended Monday after two seasons.

The Titans released Hasselbeck and reportedly agreed to terms with former Buffalo Bills starter Ryan Fitzpatrick on a — you guessed it — two-year deal. A formal announcement on the pact with Fitzpatrick is likely to come Tuesday.

Also, according to reports, Hasselbeck will sign a two-year, $8 million deal with the Indianapolis Colts to serve as Andrew Luck’s backup.

“I want to thank Matt for his contributions to our team over the last two years,” general manager Ruston Webster said in a release from the team. “He was an important part of the transition process — he was a pro at every turn and he provided an example to the rest of the team. I know that we are a better team for his being here and we wish him the best.”

Hasselbeck joined the Titans as a free agent shortly following the lockout that preceded the 2011 season and started every game that year. The Titans went 9-7, their only winning record in the last four seasons. His 3,571 yards and 18 touchdown passes were his highest totals in four seasons.

He was 11-10 as a starter, which gave him a better winning percentage than Chandler (11-14). Collins, who hung around for five years, also had a losing record as a starter (15-17). Only Neil O’Donnell, who was 6-2 between 1999 and 2003, was more successful among players who have filled that role in recent years.

Kreig never started a game in his two seasons as Steve McNair settled into the starter’s role full time beginning with his third season in the league. That would be the ideal situation for Fitzpatrick. He comes to Tennessee as the backup to Jake Locker, who enters his third season since he was selected eighth overall in the 2011 draft.

“I see myself being a very valuable guy in that regard,” Fitzpatrick told the Buffalo News last week after he was released. “For me, pride is never going to get in the way. But respect and pride can maybe go hand-in-hand. It's probably more respect than pride.”

Fewer than two years ago, Fitzpatrick signed a six-year, $62.2 million extension with Buffalo. He was released recently so the Bills, who changed coaches during the offseason, would not have to pay him a $3 million roster bonus he was due on March 13.

In four seasons with his former franchise he started 52 of 55 games, completed 59.8 percent of his passes and threw 80 touchdown passes with 64 interceptions. He originally was a seventh-round draft pick by St. Louis in 2005 out of Harvard.

7 Comments on this post:

By: eamus-catuli on 3/18/13 at 10:31

Harvard man. Perhaps Locker will learn something. Hopefully the cap savings will get Dumerville signed instead of lining Bud The Cheap's pockets.

"Make something idiot-proof and the world will build a better idiot"

By: Rasputin72 on 3/18/13 at 11:19

The Harvard boy may think Buffalo was a strange franchise until he spends two years with this dysfunctional organization and football team.

By: TITAN1 on 3/19/13 at 5:10

eamus, where have you been? Mr Adams has spent a lot on this free agency and signed some very good players. As for Matt, he is a good backup quarterback that the Titans released to save cap room and they have already signed another one to take his place. I'm a Jake fan, but if he doesn't have a great year, you may see Jay Cutler in a Titan uniform in 2014. But, those who bash Mr Adams' every move would whine about that one, too.

By: BigPapa on 3/19/13 at 6:57

Have you paid attention to the off season moves in FA? Cheap is hardly a word used to describe TN. Now you can say they made poor decisions on personnel, but they arent cheap.

That is a lazy man's criticism of the team, someone that doesnt know the team or follow the team.

By: Jughead on 3/19/13 at 2:38

Why do I keep yawning? I'd never spend a penny on this pathetic organization.

By: govskeptic on 3/19/13 at 3:42

Looks like the Colts needed Matt at more money than the 7+ million the Titans
would have needed to pay, although he had offered to stay for less.

By: 4gold on 3/19/13 at 5:13

This Fitzpatric guy has 62 millon in the bank? Go get a fishing pole idiot!

I hardly think throw away players from Bufflalo are going to rescue this bunch of third tier losers Nashville has been stuck with for a decade now.

Go Dores, Preds, Titans! Go Nashville a great place to live!