The Titans have added depth to a critical position by claiming former Jets tight end Jace Amaro off waivers.
Amaro, a second-round pick by the Jets in the 2014 NFL Draft, joins tight ends Delanie Walker, Anthony Fasano and Phillip Supernaw on the roster.
The Titans waived defensive lineman Mehdi Abdesmad on Sunday to make room for Amaro on the 53-man roster.
Amaro, waived by the Jets on Saturday, caught 38 passes for 345 yards and two touchdowns in 14 games during the 2014 season after a stellar college career at Texas Tech, where he was a first team All-America performer. Amaro (6-5, 265) caught 106 passes for 1,352 yards and seven touchdowns during his final season at Texas Tech.
Amaro, selected 49th overall by the Jets in 2014, missed all of 2015 with a torn shoulder labrum. Amaro suffered a groin injury during this year’s preseason, which caused him to miss a game.
The Titans kept five tight ends on the roster at the start of last season, but opted to keep just three when they cut down to 53 players on Saturday. Walker returns after a Pro Bowl season, while Fasano brings valuable experience to the group. Supernaw played in all 16 games last season and has been a valuable contributor on special teams.
Late last month, veteran Craig Stevens decided to retire after eight NFL season.
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Abdesmad is eligible to return to the team on the practice squad if he clears waivers.
Also on Sunday, the Dolphins claimed former Titans receiver Justin Hunter, and the Jaguars claimed former Titans defensive back Marqueston Huff. Both players were released on Saturday.
In addition to Trawick, who played last season with the Raiders after spending three years with the Ravens, the Titans also signed former Raiders and Rams linebacker Daren Bates and former Falcons return man Eric Weems. The Titans also signed two of their own in free agents Nate Palmer and Phillip Supernaw.
“Special teams is the third phase of the game,’’ Weems said. “It can make or break a game. Games are not just won or lost on offense and defense. Special teams can lose you a game.”
They found one in linebacker Daren Bates.
On Friday, the team agreed to terms on a deal with Bates. Bates played in 16 games last season with the Raiders, where he posted 12 tackles and was a key contributor on special teams. Prior to that, Bates played three seasons with the Rams.
Bates, who is from Memphis, played collegiately at Auburn. He was initially signed by the Rams as an undrafted free agent in 2013. He became the second key special teams performer to reach a deal with the Titans since the start of free agency, joining another former Oakland Raider, safety Brynden Trawick.
The Titans bolstered their depth – and added competition — at the tight end position on Wednesday by claiming former Giants and Jets tight end Jerome Cunningham off waivers.
Cunningham on Tuesday was waived by the Jets, who youth steelers jerseys claimed him off waivers from the Giants two weeks ago.
Titans general manager Jon Robinson and coach Mike Mularkey know this well.
A year ago, the Titans won a game late in the season on kicker Ryan Succop’s field goal to beat the Chiefs. Earlier in the year, the team allowed a punt return for a touchdown late in the game in a loss to the Texans. The Titans also had a number of other breakdowns on special teams, and that contributed to special teams coach Bobby April losing his job during the season. The Titans promoted Steve Hoffman to coordinator, and he’ll run the show this fall.