You can go home again. Or, in the case of Avery Williamson, at least as close as you can get with an NFL franchise.
The Tennessee Titans intend to sign the veteran inside linebacker off the Denver Broncos practice squad, John Glennon confirmed for All Titans on Tuesday.
Williamson is a native of Milan, Tenn., which is roughly a two-hour drive southwest of Nashville. He broke into the NFL as a fifth-round pick by Tennessee in 2014 and was a starter for virtually all four seasons he spent with the franchise.
The 29-year-old was added to the Broncos’ practice squad last week. He split time last season between the Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Jets. The Steelers acquired him in a trade last November.
Williamson became a starter in Week 5 of his rookie season and missed just one game in four seasons with the Titans. He had more than 100 tackles every year and led the team twice, with 137 in 2015 and 149 in 2016.
Franchise officials allowed him to become a free agent in 2018. They selected Jayon Brown in the fifth round in 2017 and added Rashaan Evans in the first round in 2018. Those two have been the primary starters for more than two seasons, but Brown is on injured reserve and Evans’ status for this week is to be determined after he was injured Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Williamson started all 16 games for the Jets in 2018 and finished seventh in the AFC with 120 tackles. He missed all of 2019 with a torn knee ligament but topped 100 tackles once again (111) in 2020 when he played seven games for the Jets and eight for the Steelers, who traded for him because they had injury issues at inside linebacker.
For his career, he has been credited with 601 total tackles (386 solo), 29 tackles for loss, 17 passes defensed, 15.5 sacks (103 yds.), five forced fumbles, four interceptions (57 yds.) and three fumble recoveries.