The Tennessee Titans didn’t let the disappointment of losing out on Peyton Manning on Monday linger.
The Titans agreed to terms on a five-year, $35 million deal with pass rusher Kamerion Wimbley on Tuesday morning. TitanInsider had reported Monday that Tennessee was seriously pursuing Wimbley, who was released over the weekend as a salary cap cut by the Oakland Raiders. Adam Caplan reported that the deal contains $13.5 million in guarantees and $11.5 million for 2012.
Wimbley, 28, was a first-round pick of the Cleveland
Browns in 2006 and has 42.5 sacks over his six-year career.
He is excited about the opportunity in Tennessee when the Titans placed the call to him, telling him they saw him as a defensive end, even though he had been a 3-4 linebacker for much of his career.
"I got a call from the Titans and spoke with Lake Dawson and he said they were interested in me," he said told TitanInsider. "I asked him how they saw my role, and he said they wanted me to be a defensive end because they needed someone to rush the passer, and I got excited about that because I played mostly end in college. Then when I came here and met with the coaches, they told me the same thing. We all had the same vibe."
Titans coach Mike Munchak is exctied to add a needed pass rusher to the Tennessee defense.
“Kamerion has been a very productive player in this league and is a good pro,” Munchak said. “On passing downs over the last few years, he has played with his hand down in Oakland and he will be playing full-time at defensive end for us. I feel like he is coming into the best years of his career and his skills will help us pressure the passer.”
The Titans had said prior to the start of free agency that finding pass rush help was their No. 1 priority this off-season. Tennessee had had plans to pursue Mario Williams, who signed with Buffalo, but the Bud Adams-directed chase of Manning derailed any possibility of that.
Instead, the Titans recovered well enough to land perhaps the second-best rusher available on the market, even though he will have to switch positions to fit in Tennessee.
There is the possibility the Titans could move him around on the field to try and use the 6-4, 255-pounder’s speed rush skills, but mostly it will be as an end.
“He is an excellent athlete, who has natural pass rusher traits – ability to bend, get low and has a nice feel for using his hands,” said Titans general manager Ruston Webster. “I liked him coming out of Florida State as 4-3 defensive end and he will return to that role with us. In addition to that, his time as a 3-4 rusher gives him added versatility.”
Wimbley said he has some experience rushing the passer from the end position and looks to expand upon that.
"It just depended upon the situation and what team we were playing again. But in sub-packages and nickel situations," he said. "I was usually in a three-point stance and rushing the passer. Now, I'll get the opportunity to do that on first and second downs here."
The addition of Wimbley doesn’t mean the Titans are through looking at help at the end position. They are hosting Jamaal Anderson of the Indianapolis Colts, and recently visited with Mark Anderson of the New England Patriots.