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Titans Trade Away White to Keep Adding Defense

Posted Apr 24, 2010

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Tennessee took care of couple problems with one move.

The Titans traded a talkative backup running back Saturday and kept getting younger, and faster, on defense.

Tennessee opened the third and final day of the NFL draft Saturday by trading LenDale White and defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson to Seattle all to move up seven spots in the fourth round from No. 111 to 104th overall and nine spots in the sixth.

They used that first pick on UCLA cornerback Alterraun Verner, and he can compete immediately for the open spot at the left corner - one of four starters Tennessee scrapped from a unit that gave up more yards passing than all but Detroit in the NFL in 2009. The Titans also ranked 28th in total yards allowed per game and gave up 31 touchdown receptions.

So they used four of their first five picks plugging gaps at end, linebacker and cornerback.

"We just wanted to go get the player,'' coach Jeff Fisher said of making the trade.

The trade also removes a player who has 24 touchdowns in his four seasons with Tennessee but struggled with being late and his weight. White's best weight loss came in the 2009 offseason when he dropped more than 30 pounds to reach 228.

By then, it was too late. Chris Johnson, the 24th pick overall in 2008, already had taken over as the starter and became only the sixth man in NFL history to run for 2,000 yards in 2009 as he ran 358 times for 2,006 yards.

Nobody wanted White for the second-round pick Tennessee tendered him at hoping to attract some interest, so he signed his tender on April 15. The Titans started shopping White on Friday and put together the deal with Seattle on Saturday morning with Verner with 13 career interceptions with four returned for TDs still on the board.

Fisher said Verner will compete immediately to fill the open starting slot at left cornerback. Nick Harper, the starter there the past three seasons who turns 36 in September, won't be back. Verner will compete with free agent signee Tye Hill along with Rod Hood, Ryan Mouton and Jason McCourty.

Asked if White fell out of favor, Fisher said the back practiced and was prepared to play.

"I can't blame him for wanting to play more because those are the kind of players you want on your roster. I think considering the circumstances he handled things. There were issues I don't need to bring up,'' Fisher said.

Vickerson also was lost in the pack at tackle where the Titans signed Tony Brown to a three-year extension Thursday. They also have Jovan Haye, Sen'Derrick Marks and Jason Jones.

Tennessee used its fifth-round pick on safety Robert Johnson of Utah. He will provide immediate depth and had 13 career interceptions.

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