Saturday was decision day for the Tennessee Titans and the rest of the NFL.
All 32 teams needed to reduce their rosters to the regular-season limit of 53 players by 3 p.m. (CDT).
To get there, the Titans cut one of the three quarterbacks on the roster this week as well as one of their “offseason performers of the year.” General manager Jon Robinson (pictured) and coach Mike Vrabel held on to five of this year’s six draft picks (quarterback Cole McDonald, a seventh-round choice was released last month).
The 53 included free agent linebacker Vic Beasley to the active roster after he spent the entire preseason on the reserve-did not report list (first) and the non-football injury list (second).
“I think we're all going to have an idea about what our team is and what we want to do,” Vrabel said recently. “But ultimately, it's about what happens when you get out there and get into competitive situations.”
A look at which players the Titans cut to get to the 53-man roster limit and why they did not make the Week 1 roster:
Ibraheim Campbell, S: He performed like the veteran that he is, but a guy who has been with five teams in the past three years was never likely to crack the well-established safety group.
Jamal Davis II, OLB: The Titans like him enough that they have signed him twice in less than a year, but not enough (not yet, at least) to give him a roster spot.
Rashard Davis, WR: Routinely singled out by coaches and teammates during the offseason, he lost out Cam Batson, one of the best preseason performers in 2018 who spent all of last season on injured reserve, and Cody Hollister, who – like Davis – filled in late last season.
Kenneth Durden, CB: He was difficult to overlook during preseason practices but lost out in a numbers game at a position where the Titans drafted high (Kristian Fulton) and added a notable free agent (Johnathan Joseph).
Cale Garrett, ILB: He was one of the best among this year’s undrafted rookies but any chance he had vanished when veteran Will Compton was signed.
Krishawn Hogan, WR: One of the mid-camp additions who figures to be a call-back option if the Titans need special teams help during the season.
Tommy Hudson, TE: He was an undrafted rookie at a position where the Titans have core of veteran players firmly entrenched.
Joey Ivie, DT: He was a fringe roster guy in 2019, who ultimately played in three games when he was needed. He is still that guy.
Brandon Kemp, T: There were too many veterans plus a first-round draft pick (Isaiah Wilson) at tackle for him to make any serious play for a roster spot.
Zack Kerin, G: There is a reason he has spent the past three seasons as a journeyman. Now, at least, coaches know whether he can help if there is an injury during the season.
Mason Kinsey, WR: Regardless of how well he did or did not do in workouts, there is no way to believe a Division III product can produce against NFL players until you see it, which could not happen with no preseason games.
Marcus Marshall, RB: Signed in mid-August, his presence had more to do with getting to know him than any serious opportunity to earn a roster spot.
Tucker McCann, K: It was highly unlikely he would unseat Greg Joseph for the job. The decision to sign Stephen Gostkowski made it clear he did not show near enough during workouts to merit serious consideration.
Jeremy McNichols, RB: A big preseason performance in 2019 was not enough for him to get a roster spot. A brief audition in 2020 certainly was not going to do it.
Doug Middleton, DB: He was signed earlier this week. Never had a chance to show what he could do.
Chris Milton, CB: Expected to be a core special teams player, he likely lost his spot to seventh-round pick Chris Jackson, who is younger and cheaper.
Kareem Orr, CB: Undrafted in 2019, he was on and off the active roster a couple times as a rookie. With two cornerbacks in this year’s draft picks, he is a fringe guy once again.
Senorise Perry, RB: He was a backup option on special teams in the event that others got injured, which they did not.
David Quessenberry, T: It was an uphill battle from the moment the Titans signed Ty Sambrailo to a one-year, $1.6 million contract early in free agency.
Wyatt Ray, OLB: Like others who were brought in at that position during the preseason, his best chance was for Vic Beasley not to start the season on the active roster.
Trevor Siemian, QB: Without the benefit of an offseason or any preseason games, it is difficult to trust that he knows the offense well enough at this point.
Kobe Smith, NT: Like all the undrafted rookies, there just was not enough opportunity to prove himself without any preseason games.
Tye Smith, CB: He has been around for most of the past three years despite the fact that management is constantly trying to find better players at that spot. This year that search included two draft picks and free agent Johnathan Joseph.
Teair Tart, DT: Another undrafted rookie who tried to make a team that values experienced backups.
D’Andre Walker, OLB: Coaches talked about the fact that he too often got by on his athleticism. Translation: The 2019 fifth-round draft pick didn’t know the scheme well enough.
Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, WR: He has good size and was noticeable in workouts, but there just was no room for an undrafted rookie wide receiver to earn a spot against so many veterans.
Kristian Wilkerson, WR: Another undrafted wide receiver for whom the opportunity to earn a roster spot just didn’t really exist.