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Titans sign S Michael Griffin to 5-year extension

As first reported by the Tennessee Titans, the Titans today signed safety Michael Griffin to a five-year contract extension.

Griffin was scheduled to hit free agency when the new league year began, but the Titans elected to use the franchise tag on him. Unlike many players who get hit with the tag, he’s been a model citizen since then and signed a waiver so that he could participate in offseason workouts without signing his tender.

Griffin has had a bit of an up-and-down career since the Titans selected him in the first round, 19th overall, in the 2007 draft out of Texas. He was a breath of fresh air when he stepped into the lineup for Calvin Lowry in the seventh game of his rookie season. He had an excellent season in 2008 and made the Pro Bowl, but followed that with an abysmal year in 2009. He was improved but still not very good in 2010, though he made the Pro Bowl anyway, and had a good but not great season last year.

He has the physical skillset to be an outstanding safety in the deep middle of Jerry Gray’s defense, but I’ve noted before his lack of ball-hawking prowess. Gray noted Griffin’s inconsistency in an interview last month, citing his outstanding range in breaking up a would-be TD pass against the Colts while allowing a touchdown against the Bengals he should have been in a position to break up. Like Andrew, I’m a little surprised the Titans are willing to extend Griffin, but hopefully he lives up to the challenge.

Jason LaCanfora reported the deal is for $35 million dollars, including a $9 million signing bonus, with another $1 million available in incentives and no guaranteed money as of right now after this season. Had Griffin played for the franchise tag amount in 2012, his salarly would have been $6.212 million. With the reduction in Griffin’s 2012 cap hit from this deal, the Titans now have about $19.6 million in salary cap space.