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Titans sign free agent QB Whitehurst as backup

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The Canadian Press
3/13/2014 8:17:16 PM
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NASHVILLE -- Tennessee has signed quarterback Charlie Whitehurst to a multi-year contract in a deal that reunites him with Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt.

The 31-year-old Whitehurst spent the last two years in San Diego, where Whisenhunt worked as offensive co-ordinator in 2013. The Titans announced the deal Thursday night.

"He brings a familiarity with the offence we are installing," Whisenhunt said in a statement. "He will be a great resource for Jake and the entire offence. And as a player, he understands what we want to get done. Working with him over the last year and seeing how he works and his ability gives me confidence that he is the right fit to fill this role."

In his career, Whitehurst is 84 of 155 for 805 yards passing with four interceptions and three touchdown passes in 13 NFL games. His likely role in Tennessee is backing up Jake Locker, who has missed 14 games due to injuries the last two years.

The arrival of Whitehurst puts Ryan Fitzpatrick's future with the Titans in question. Fitzpatrick signed a two-year deal last March to serve as Locker's main backup. Fitzpatrick started nine games for the Titans last season and went 217 of 350 for 2,454 yards with 14 touchdown passes and 12 interceptions. Fitzpatrick, also 31, has thrown for 16,790 yards, 106 touchdowns and 93 interceptions in 85 career games.

Fitzpatrick has 77 career NFL starts. Whitehurst has only four career starts and has spent most of his career backing up Philip Rivers in San Diego.

Whitehurst originally joined the Chargers as a third-round draft pick out of Clemson in 2006. He spent four seasons with the Chargers before getting traded to Seattle in 2010 for two draft picks. He started four games with the Seahawks, including a victory in the final week of the 2010 season that enabled the Seahawks to clinch the NFC West title. He rejoined San Diego in 2012.

General manager Ruston Webster said Whitehurst not only knows a lot about Whisenhunt's offence but has been around some outstanding NFL quarterbacks.

"He is (a) smart guy with a good arm, and he will add to our offensive group as a veteran quarterback," Webster said.

Whitehurst is the son of former NFL player David Whitehurst, who played quarterback for the Green Bay Packers from 1977-83.

Charlie Whitehurst (Photo: Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
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