The Tennessee Titans will not be making tender offers to their three restricted free agents, who are scheduled to hit the market on Thursday, according to sources.
That decision means that tight end Phillip Supernaw, running back Antonio Andrews and linebacker Justin Staples will instead head to the open market as unrestricted free agents, free to sign with any club and without the Titans having any chance to match an offer or receive compensation in the form of a draft pick.
The lowest salary level for a tendered restricted free agent is $1.797 million, a number the Titans were unwilling to place on the three players. The Titans can still re-sign any or all of them at a lower salary. Supernaw is the most likely to return, as the Titans have interest in re-signing him.
All three players were undrafted, with Supernaw and Staples joining the Titans after spending time with other teams. Andrews came to the Titans as an undrafted rookie in 2014 out of Western Kentucky.
Of the three players, Supernaw had biggest role in 2016 as the team’s third tight end behind Delanie Walker and Anthony Fasano. He also was a key special teams contributor.
Supernaw, who had previously spent time with the Baltimore Ravens in 2014, caught four passes for 62 yards for the Titans in 2016.
Andrews, who wound up as the Titans’ leading rusher in 2015, ran for 520 yards on 143 carries in his second season. But with the acquisition of both DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry last off-season, Andrews was reduced to a special teams role last year, getting just two carries for 15 yards.
Staples spent time on the Cleveland Browns practice squad in 2013 and ’14 before joining the Titans later that year. He was elevated to the Titans’ active roster in 2014, and then split the past two seasons between the practice squad and the 53-man roster. He played in 18 games for Tennessee over the past three years, mostly on special teams.