NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Titans' push to become more physical in 2013 continued Thursday when the team agreed to terms of a one-year contract with free agent strong safety Bernard Pollard.
Pollard visited Tennessee on March 15, one day after Baltimore released him. He became the latest Raven to leave Baltimore via free agency, trade or retirement more than a month after the Ravens won Super Bowl XLVII.
"Pollard is big, physical, experienced safety. He was a key contributor for the Super Bowl winners last year and his physicality and experience will help us," Titans general manager Ruston Webster said. "Adding him and George Wilson to our safety group gives us options moving forward and greatly improves our depth there."
Known for delivering hard hits, Pollard led the Ravens with 98 tackles last season while playing through a total of six broken ribs that he kept quiet about until after the season ended. Pollard made the injury worse on the first play of Super Bowl XLVII but quickly returned to the field.
In seven seasons, Pollard has started 85 of the 105 regular season games he's played. He has nine sacks, nine interceptions, 13 forced fumbles and eight fumble recoveries in those games. Pollard has recorded 576 tackles (453 solo).
Pollard has gained significant postseason experience by starting six games in the past two seasons with Baltimore. The Ravens made the AFC Championship after the 2011 season, and rallied through the playoffs this year to win the title.
The Titans have already added Wilson, defensive tackle Sammie Hill and linebacker Moise Fokou to their defense through free agency this offseason. Pollard and Wilson could have a training camp battle for the starting job at strong safety opposite free safety Michael Griffin, but Titans defensive coordinator Jerry Gray has also used a package with three safeties, which could be another possibility.
Kansas City drafted Pollard in the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft with the 54th overall pick. He played all 16 games as a rookie and became a starter in his second season. Pollard made 31 starts for the Chiefs the next two seasons before joining Houston for two seasons in which he started all 28 games he played. Pollard recorded a career-best four interceptions in a season in 2009 and returned one for a touchdown.
Baltimore signed Pollard in August 2011 shortly after the work stoppage ended to replace Dawan Landry, who joined Jacksonville after five seasons with the Ravens.
Pollard, 28, grew up in Fort Wayne, Ind., and played collegiately at Purdue.