Chris Carr became the newest Tennessee Titan on Saturday after the Oakland Raiders let the deadline pass for the restricted free agent without matching the offer.
Carr, who turns 25 at the end of the month, joins the Titans as a reserve defensive back, but more importantly, becomes their primary return man.
The Titans struggled in returns last season on both punts and kickoffs after the suspension of Adam “Pacman” Jones. The Titans are trying to deal Jones this offseason and the acquisition of Carr helps to solidify the return spot.
Carr has averaged 5.9 yards per punt return in his three seasons with the Raiders and 24.1 yards per kickoff return.
Carr was tendered at the lowest level ($927,000), and because he entered the league as an undrafted free agent, the Titans do not owe the Raiders a draft pick as compensation.
Carr’s value on defense is likely to be as a backup safety and potentially competing for the nickelback or dimeback roles in training camp and preseason.
He has one career interception, which he returned 100 yards for a touchdown in 2006.
With the draft rapidly approaching in just over two weeks, Carr represents likely the last dip into the free-agent pool by the Titans prior to the draft, which begins April 26.
PACMAN UPDATE: The Titans and Cowboys are apparently still stalemated in the talks regarding the trade of Jones.
The two sides had been expected to come to an agreement last week in face-to-face talks at the NFL owners meetings. But the deal continues to snag on the grounds of compensation and money the Titans have sought to recoup regarding Jones’ signing bonus.
Recent rulings in favor of Michael Vick and Ashley Lelie have made it less likely the Titans can recover bonus money already paid to Jones. There is also the matter that Jones has installments of bonus money still owed to him, as well as incentive money he has earned from his play in 2006 that was not paid when he was placed on suspension by Commissioner Roger Goodell.
Thursday is the one-year anniversary of that suspension, and Jones’ representatives had said they plan to appeal for reinstatement possibly as soon as this week.
NEW LOGO: The Tennessee Titans unveiled a modified logo Friday for their 10th anniversary as the Titans.
The 2008 season marks the 10th year for the club to be called the Titans, after it changed its name from “Oilers” after the 1998 season to coincide with a change of uniforms and its move into a new stadium.
The new logo still features the flaming fireball logo of red, white, silver and two shades of blue, but now has a numeral “1” to the left of the circle to make the number 10. It also features a state of Tennessee drawing underneath with the dates 1999-2008.
“I still remember back to the time when we decided to start from scratch — new name, new uniforms, new stadium, new facility — what a great stretch it has been,” Titans owner Bud Adams said in a statement.
An on-line all-decade squad for fans to vote on will be assembled as well as other events throughout the season to commemorate the 10th anniversary this season.
Also, the Titans Caravan will feature for the first time, former players as well as current ones visiting with fans along the 11-day event that has more than 50 stops.
Some of the former players expected to take part include recently retired guard Benji Olson, receivers Kevin Dyson and Chris Sanders, tight end Frank Wycheck, quarterback Neil O’Donnell and kicker Al Del Greco.
Also, executive vice president of administration and facilities Don MacLachlan indicated that the special celebrations for the franchise could continue into 2009, when the American Football League will celebrate its 50th anniversary. That campaign, he said, could include the Titans wearing throwback Houston Oilers uniforms in a game at some point in that season.