INDIANAPOLIS — Jevon Kearse’s reunion with the Tennessee Titans will officially come to an end on Friday.
That’s because Coach Jeff Fisher indicated that the Titans will move in a different direction at the position regarding the 33-year-old defensive end, who lost his starting job five games into the 2009 season.
Kearse had just four tackles and one sack in six games this season, losing his left defensive end job to William Hayes and then leaving before a game with Indianapolis after finding out he had been deactivated.
“In Jevon’s case, the way things ended up, he did a great job for us over the years,” Fisher said. “He came in and was prepared to play and ready to play and played hard. I think in his case, similar to Kevin’s [Mawae], we’re gonna commit to the younger players.”
Asked if he thought the team’s 1999 first-round pick might be at the end of his football career, Fisher said that decision would be up to Kearse.
“I think you’re gonna have to ask him, but he may be at a crossroads right now. I just don’t know. We’re gonna focus more on the younger players,” Fisher said.
Kearse was originally drafted by the Titans and was the Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1999, helping the franchise reach the Super Bowl. He left after the 2003 season for a $66 million deal with the Philadelphia Eagles, but was released four years later and re-signed with the Titans in 2008, something Fisher said was a good move for the club and Kearse.
“I think he got to be a part of the playoff run the year before, and he was no different than anybody else this year,” Fisher said. “We were close, but we ran out of games because of the start. I don’t think he has any regrets. I think he loves Nashville and really liked the room and Wash [Jim Washburn] and loved the opportunity.
“We’ve never had any issues with him. I only have great respect for him.”
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