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Cunningham signs free agent deal with Tennessee Titans

Dawson County High grad punted at the University of Tennessee

POSTED: July 27, 2011 5:00 p.m.

When Chad Cunningham received a call from his agent Jimmy Sexton on Tuesday night, it put about 4 1/2 months worth of uncertainly to rest after a long NFL lockout.

Sexton was calling to deliver the news that Cunningham, a 2006 Dawson County High graduate and former University of Tennessee punter, was signed to a free-agent contract with the Tennessee Titans.

Cunningham, who went undrafted in April, wrapped everything up in Memphis, Tenn., where he was living with his fiancee and training at the University of Memphis, and headed straight for the Titans' headquarters in Nashville, Tenn.

There, he was immediately put under a team physical and went into meetings.

Cunningham knows everything is going to be happening fast now that he's in camp.

Tennessee only has 16 days remaining before its first preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings on Aug. 13 at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn.

"It's really an honor just to get a chance in the NFL," Cunningham said. "I'm going to go out there and give it my best."

Cunningham has used all his time since graduating from Tennessee to prepare for a chance to latch on with a team.

Even though he was disappointed when he went undrafted, it didn't curtail his training.

He worked every day at the University of Memphis with players already in the NFL like New England Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski, long snapper Morgan Cox of the Baltimore Ravens and former Tennessee teammate Britton Colquitt, now a punter with the Denver Broncos.

When the lockout was lifted, Cunningham was informed by his agent that several teams were interested in inviting him to camp.

In college, Cunningham finished his career averaging 42.3 yards per punt and had 11 punts during his senior season that traveled more than 50 yards.

Currently, the Tennessee Titans list Brett Kern as their starting punter. Last season, Kern averaged 42.9 yards per attempt with a season-best 68 yarder.

"I'm just excited to go out there to compete and try and earn a job," Cunningham said.



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