NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Jarrett Payton won't be playing for the Chicago Bears, but he will be playing for a former Bear.
Payton, passed over in the NFL draft, has agreed to a contract with the Tennessee Titans.
Tennessee coach Jeff Fisher was a teammate of Payton's father, Bears Hall of Famer Walter Payton, in the early 1980s.
``I was just looking for the right fit,'' Payton said of the decision to pick Tennessee over five other teams that called after the draft.
Payton was only 5 when Fisher retired after five seasons to become defensive backs coach of the Philadelphia Eagles under Buddy Ryan. Ryan, then the Bears' defensive coordinator, and Fisher took their new jobs days after the Bears' Super Bowl XX victory.
``I didn't know coach Fisher, but all those guys on that team have always been classy,'' Payton said. ``He showed a lot of interest in me, and that's what I wanted because all I want is a chance.''
Payton didn't start regularly until his senior season at the University of Miami, meaning he has plenty of experience on special teams, which could become an asset in making the final roster.
``Coach Fisher said I could make it if I can show I can catch the ball and play special teams,'' Payton said. ``I'm looking forward to getting down there and working my butt off.''
The Titans have an opening for depth behind veteran Eddie George and his backup, Chris Brown, a third-round pick last year. The Titans drafted two running backs, but sixth-round pick Troy Fleming from Tennessee will be tried at fullback and seventh-round pick Sean McHugh from Penn State is switching to tight end.
Payton ran for 985 yards and seven touchdowns in his final season with the Hurricanes. He had a big game against Florida State in the Orange Bowl, running for 131 yards in a 16-14 win.
The 6-foot, 218-pound Payton became the starter for the Hurricanes in 2003 when Frank Gore went down for the season with a knee injury. In addition to running back, Payton also played fullback at Miami.
Maybe he is not the best RB to come out of Miami in awhile, but I still think picking him up as a FA is a great move on the part of the Titans. I have to admit I haven't seen much of his game experience, but I am impressed with what I have seen.