Thursday, May 10, 2007

Titans Sign Two; Barlow To Steelers

The Tennessee Titans signed quarterback Tim Rattay and also claimed linebacker Gilbert Gardner off waivers from the Indianapolis Colts on Wednesday.

The Titans also signed free-agent offensive lineman Marques Ogden and fullback Jonathan Evans and waived defensive tackle Marcus White and undrafted rookies fullback Nic Luc and defensive tackle Adrian Haywood. Ogden is the younger brother of Baltimore left tackle Jonathan Ogden.

Tennessee carried only two quarterbacks on the roster in 2006, with veteran Kerry Collins backing up Vince Young, and Matt Mauck was on the practice squad. Collins re-signed with the Titans this offseason.

Rattay started 18 games with San Francisco and Tampa Bay, including playing in the final four games last season for the Buccaneers. His best season was in 2004, when he had nine starts and threw for 2,169 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Gardner, a third-round pick in 2004, becomes the third former Indianapolis defender the Titans have picked up. They signed linebacker David Thornton as a free agent last year and gave cornerback Nick Harper a three-year deal in March.

Gardner had 97 tackles and 15 starts with the Colts over the past three seasons, with 12 of those starts coming last season.

Still seeking to fill the void they experienced last season when the retirement of Jerome Bettis left the offense without a power-type tailback, the Pittsburgh Steelers have reached agreement with free agent Kevan Barlow on a one-year contract.

Financial details of the agreement, which has been rumored for the past several days, were not immediately available.

A Pittsburgh native who attended that city's Peabody High School and then starred at the University of Pittsburgh, the six-year veteran will sign the deal before the Friday morning start to the team's first mandatory minicamp under new coach Mike Tomlin.

In Pittsburgh, it's expected that Barlow will compete with Najeh Davenport for the No. 2 tailback job behind Willie Parker. The coaching staff wants to reduce the workload for Parker, a speedy but undersized tailback who logged a career-high 337 rushes in 2006. Davenport carried just 60 times as Parker's backup in 2006; third-down tailback Verron Haynes, who might still be in camp with Pittsburgh if he can successfully rehabilitate his surgically repaired knee, had only 15 carries.

Parker rushed for 1,494 yards and 13 touchdowns, but the consensus is that he might be even more productive with a little more rest.

For his career, Barlow has carried 1,022 times for 3,984 yards and 30 touchdowns. He also has 144 receptions for 1,164 yards and three scores. Barlow has appeared in 84 games and started in 33 of them.

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