Fowler starter in 2008, Gone in 2009 From Titans




Middle linebacker Ryan Fowler was among the Titans players released on Saturday.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -** The Tennessee Titans released linebacker Ryan Fowler on Saturday along with 21 other players in trimming down their roster, cutting loose a player who lost his starting job to Stephen Tulloch during the 2008 season.

Fowler was signed in 2007 to a four-year deal worth $11.5 million as the Titans' starting middle linebacker. But the Titans had drafted Tulloch in 2006, and he took over the starting job after a 3-0 start last year that left Fowler shocked at the time because he said he had no warning a change might come.

Tulloch missed most of the preseason with an injury. Fowler talked about how much he wanted his starting job back, but harder-hitting and faster Tulloch moved right back into the lineup for the fourth exhibition.

A week later, the Titans released the 6-foot-3 Fowler who had been due $2.25 million this season and would have counted $3 million against the cap.

The Titans announced their cuts Saturday in a release with no comment as they prepare for Thursday night's season opener at Pittsburgh. Coach Jeff Fisher refused to speculate on any player that might be released Friday, but he did say the decisions weren't easy on a team coming off an NFL-best 13-3 season.

"We'll be letting players go that we think can play in the league. We'll be letting players go that have experience. Everybody kind of gave their heart and soul to this football team over the last few months,'' Fisher said.

The Titans started cutting players Friday when they informed at least 18 of their release, a group that included Mark Jones who had been signed to a two-year deal this offseason to handle punt and kickoff returns. Also cut was veteran cornerback DeMarcus Faggins was signed to add experienced depth in the secondary before being beaten repeatedly this preseason.

Running back Quinton Ganther was waived-injured after hurting his right calf Thursday night in a 23-17 preseason finale win against Green Bay.

Others released include defensive end Larry Birdine; linebackers Rocky Boiman and Josh Stamer; defensive tackles Mitch King and LaJuan Ramsey; offensive linemen Fernando Velasco, Ryan Durand, Cory Lekkerkerker and Jason Murphy; receivers Phillip Morris and Paul Williams, a third-round draft pick in 2007; tight ends Casey Cramer and Matthew Mulligan; defensive backs Tanard Davis, Tuff Harris and Nick Schommer; fullback Rodney Ferguson and punter A.J. Trapasso.

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