NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Titans released Rob Bironas, their kicker since 2005, on Wednesday, the team announced.
“We want to thank Rob for his nine years of service to the Titans. He has been an outstanding kicker and we appreciate him both for his contributions on the field and in our community,” general manager Ruston Webster said in a statement.
Bironas was due a $250,000 roster bonus and a $2.875 million base salary in 2014, the second year of a two-year, $6.675 million contract.
He collected a $1.5 million signing bonus with that deal, so the Titans will carry a $750,000 cap charge for him in 2014.
The team is expected to replace him the same way it replaced Gary Anderson in 2005 — by searching for a young player it can develop like it did when it found Bironas.
Assistant special teams coach Steve Hoffman helped develop Ryan Succop in Kansas City and Dan Carpenter in Miami. Carpenter is now in Buffalo.
Bironas hit 25 of 29 field goal attempts in 2013, but indications are the team doesn’t feel his cost and production added up going forward.
His touchback rate on kickoffs has sunk for three years in a row, from 56.4 percent in 2011, to 50 percent in 2012, to 38.6 percent last season.
The Titans cut right tackle David Stewart earlier this month. With Stewart and Bironas gone, left tackle Michael Roos becomes the team’s senior-most player, the last remaining Titan who joined the franchise in 2005.
Bironas had 1,032 career points in his nine-year career with Tennessee and was just 28 points behind Al Del Greco, the top scorer in the history of the Houston Oilers and Tennessee Titans organization. Bironas has made 85.7 percent of his career field-goal attempts (239 of 279) to rank fourth in NFL history in accuracy.
Bironas made a franchise-record 11 game-winning field goals during his career, including a 60-yarder against the Indianapolis Colts in 2006 that remains the longest field goal in Oilers or Titans history. Bironas kicked an NFL single-game record eight field goals in a 2007 victory over the Houston Texans, including a 29-yard game-winner as time expired.
Although Bironas made only one Pro Bowl — in 2007 — he was one of the NFL’s most productive kickers for much of his time in Tennessee. His 239 field goals over the last nine years are the second-most by any NFL kicker during that stretch. He also has been impressive from long range, going 24 of 34 from at least 50 yards out.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.Covered AFC South for five years for ESPN.com
Covered Oilers/Titans for The Tennessean
New Jersey native and Columbia graduate lives in Nashville with his wife and son