NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans have agreed to terms with Chiefs running back, receiver and kick returner Dexter McCluster, said a person familiar with the situation.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press on Tuesday because the deal had not been announced minutes after NFL free agency started.
The Titans had no immediate comment, but McCluster wrote on Twitter, “Very excited to join the @TennesseeTitans.”
McCluster was switched between wide receiver and running back early in his career but flourished in 2013 as a slot receiver and punt returner for new Kansas City coach Andy Reid. The former second-round pick out of Mississippi caught a career-high 53 passes for 611 yards and two touchdowns, and also had two punt return touchdowns, earning his first trip to the Pro Bowl.
That production was a big reason why Kansas City went from two wins in 2012 to 11-5 and the playoffs last season. But that also made McCluster too pricy for the cash-strapped Chiefs to bring back.
His versatility could be why the Titans want him for new coach Ken Whisenhunt. McCluster’s best year as a running back came in 2011 when he averaged 4.5 yards per carry on 114 rushes, and he has been much more consistent as a receiver with at least 46 catches in each of the past three years. He also offers an option on special teams with his three career TDs on punt returns.
ESPN.com first reported the deal.
This deal could put the Titans closer to a move with Chris Johnson, due $8 million this season with three years left on the $53.5 million contract extension he signed Sept. 2, 2011. He is coming off his second-worst rushing performance with 1,077 yards and a career-low 3.9-yard average, and the Titans also have Shonn Greene and recently signed Jackie Battle to a new deal.