The Tennessee Titans parted ways with veteran cornerback Jason McCourty on Thursday.
McCourty reported the news on the Twitter account that he shares with his twin brother Devin, who plays safety for the New England Patriots. He also confirmed his release to TitanInsider.com in a text message.
At the end of the 2016 season, McCourty was philosophical about whether or not he had played his last game for Tennessee, saying about being a cap casualty, “Why speak it into being?”
McCourty a sixth-round pick of the Titans in 2009, was the longest tenured player on the team, often being a bright spot on teams that struggled. The Titans did not make the postseason during McCourty’s eight-year run with the franchise, and had only two winning seasons – in 2011 and last year, both being 9-7.
McCourty was due a $7 million base salary in the final year of his contract with the Titans. His past two seasons have ended with injuries, as he underwent groin surgery that cost him all but four games in 2015 and missed the final two games of 2016 due to a shoulder injury suffered on the first defensive snap against the Kansas City Chiefs. Toward the end of last season, McCourty was rotating at cornerback with rookie LeShaun Sims, as well as a rotation that was used between Valentino Blake and Brice McCain.
In his tweet, he thanked the organization for taking a chance on him, saying, “Never could I have imagined it would be 8 years before I would be saying goodbye. I can’t thank the Titans organization, my teammates, and the Adams family enough, they have been tremendous to my family and me.”
— Devin&Jason McCourty (@McCourtyTwins) April 13, 2017
The timing of McCourty’s release makes sense from a business standpoint with the Titans, because the team’s off-season program is scheduled to begin on Monday, and any player who might sustain an injury during the off-season work would put the Titans on the hook for his salary.
McCourty finished the 2016 season with two interceptions in 14 games. For his career, he played in 108 games over eight seasons with 90 starts. He had 13 interceptions, six forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries.
His departure further signifies the makeover going on the secondary for the Titans, who signed cornerback Logan Ryan and Demontre Hurst and added safeties Jonathan Cyprien and Brynden Trawick in free agency. The Titans are expected to continue to look for defensive back help in the draft, which runs April 27-29.