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Titans release running back Johnson to save $8 million

– The CJ2K era is over in Tennessee, just the latest step by the Titans in their franchise makeover.

The Titans told Chris Johnson they are releasing him Friday after six seasons to avoid paying $8 million the running back is due in 2014, along with the final three seasons left on the $53.5 million contract he signed in September 2011. His release comes before the Titans start their offseason program Monday with new coach Ken Whisenhunt.

General manager Ruston Webster said the Titans thank Johnson for his contributions, setting so many franchise records and being durable over his six seasons with Tennessee.

“We have had an open dialogue with Chris’ agent, Joel Segal, over the last few weeks, and we appreciate the patience and professionalism they have shown throughout this process,” Webster said in a statement. “We made an effort to trade Chris but were unable to do so.”

The Titans have been busy working to replace Johnson, who turns 29 in September. They agreed with Dexter McCluster on a three-year deal at the start of free agency after signing Shonn Greene in March 2013.

The Titans also re-signed Jackie Battle, along with reaching a one-year deal for kick returner and running back Leon Washington on March 11. Adding another running back in the May draft also is expected.

Coaches extended

Seattle locked up coach Pete Carroll with a three-year contract extension after he led the franchise to its first Super Bowl title, a 43-8 win over Denver.

The extension runs through the 2016 season. Carroll’s original five-year deal, signed with the team in January 2010, was set to expire after next season.

In Denver, a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press that coach John Fox agreed to a new three-year contract through 2016.

Fox has gone 37-17 with three AFC West titles in his three seasons in Denver.

Around the league

Veteran defensive back Champ Bailey agreed to a two-year contract with New Orleans. Bailey, 35, played the last 10 seasons with Denver after spending his first five in the NFL with Washington. …

The New York Giants agreed to a one-year contract with tight end Kellen Davis, formerly of Seattle. … Buffalo acquired receiver Mike Williams in a deal with Tampa Bay. Williams was allegedly stabbed in the leg by his brother, who has since turned himself in. …

New England released safety Adrian Wilson, a 13-year veteran who did not play a snap last season after hurting his ankle in the preseason.