Tennessee Titans claim Lonnie Johnson, cut Josh Malone and others

Tennessee Titans Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Tennessee Titans Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /

The NFL forces each team to go through three waves of cuts before the regular season, and that means that Josh Malone’s time with the Tennessee Titans is over.

Despite having a strong summer in OTAs, it looks like the emergence of Treylon Burks, Kyle Philips, Racey McMath, and Dez Fitzpatrick, resulted in Malone running out of positions to fight for on the 53-man roster.

While a return to Nashville on the practice squad could still be on the table, the former Tennessee Volunteer is going to have his chance to catch on somewhere else over the next few weeks.

Joining him in the first wave of cuts were:

-Jordan Wilkins, RB

-Haskell Garrett, NT

-Deante Burton, DB

-Carson Green, OL

Tuesday wasn’t all about cuts though and the Tennessee Titans actually signed an interesting defensive back.

Tennessee Titans claim Lonnie Johnson Jr.

Stop me if you have heard this one before, but the Tennessee Titans added a player with Houston Texans connections.

When the Texans drafted Lonnie Johnson Jr. in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft it was…questionable. Widely regarded as a Day 3 prospect in his class, Houston passed on offensive line help like Nate Davis, along with D.K. Metcalf, Terry McClaurin, and Dawson Knox to make that selection.

That put unfair expectations on Johnson Jr. early, and it didn’t help that he struggled early in his career.

In all honesty, he is athletic and long enough to make it work at corner at the college level, but he is probably better as a full-time safety/tight end matchup player at this point in his career. With Chris Jackson having an injury of unknown severity, Theo Jackson missing some time, and Amani Hooker not practicing very often, it doesn’t hurt to have more safety depth.

While his chances of making the 53-man roster are very slim, he has the athleticism and size to make the practice squad. At 26 years old, it isn’t crazy to hope that he might have some stash potential as a depth player for a future call-up if he is needed late in the season, but either way, it is a low-risk, moderate reward move.

It is also interesting to note that Anthony Midget and Tim Kelly were both with him in Houston in 2019 so there is no reason to think that they didn’t sign off on him from a character/work ethic/upside standpoint.