Titans Move on From Backup Running Back

David Boclair

Dion Lewis’ second season with the Tennessee Titans was not nearly as good as his first. It also turned out to be his last.

The Titans have informed the veteran running back that he will be released. The team formally announced the move Thursday afternoon.

The eight-year veteran was due to earn $4.3 million in base salary with a $300,000 per game roster bonus in 2020. His release will cost the Titans $1.125 million in dead money but will create a little more than $4 million in salary cap space.

That decision could be a signal that the team will retain Derrick Henry, whose contract expires next Wednesday.

Lewis, 29, rushed for 209 yards on 54 carries and caught 25 passes for 164 yards in 2019. Those numbers paled in comparison to the previous season when he was the Titans’ second-leading rusher (517 yards) and second-leading receiver (a career-high 59 receptions for 400 yards).

In the Titans’ three playoff games, he had just two carries for six yards and one reception for eight yards. He played just seven snaps on offense in the divisional round victory over Baltimore and 11 snaps in the wild card victory over New England.

Before Tennessee, he spent three seasons with the Patriots and set career-highs with 896 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns in 2017. A fifth-round draft pick by Philadelphia in 2011, he also has spent time with the Eagles, Browns and Colts.

Dalyn Dawkins, who finished the season on the practice squad, was the only running back other Henry and Lewis who carried the ball for the Titans in 2019. He rushed 11 times for 26 yards in two appearances.

Another running back, Shaun Wilson, was added to the practice squad in mid-December.

Dawkins and Wilson are both under contract for next season.

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