The Tennessee Titans stopped their youth movement at cornerback Tuesday.
Lonnie Johnson, a fourth-year veteran who started 19 games in three seasons with the Houston Texans, was declared exempt. The Kansas City Chiefs released the 26-year-old on Sunday, more than three months after they acquired him in a trade. With a limit of 85 players on Monday, safety Elijah Benton was released. Benton, who spent time with four teams as a rookie in 2021, was added a little over a week ago.
Johnson, Houston’s second-round pick in 2019, became a starter for the first time in Week 2 of his rookie season.
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His 44 games give him more NFL experience than any of the other 10 cornerbacks on the current roster. Greg Mabin, 28, has been in the league longer but has only played in 39 games.
Starters Kristian Fulton and Caleb Farley are in their third and second seasons, respectively, and the top two backups are in their first seasons and Roger McCreary and Elijah Molden in season two. All four were selected in the first three rounds of their respective drafts.
Johnson’s career was recorded as 159 tackles, 3 interceptions and 13 defensive passes in addition to 13 special team tackles. His best season was in 2020, when he made 70 tackles for the Texans in 16 games (five starts).
His arrival comes with 2020 seventh-round pick Chris Jackson out with an injury.
Tennessee will play joint practice with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Wednesday and Thursday. Those same teams will meet in a preseason game Saturday at Nissan Stadium.