Eight times. That’s how many times Titans cornerback Kenneth Durden has been waived or released during his NFL career. Don’t feel sorry for him, though. He doesn’t feel sorry for himself. He’s thankful for the opportunity to play the game he loves.
Originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Raiders in 2016, Durden has also spent time with the Giants in addition to the Titans.
He’s never had the chance to get too comfortable in one city, but Durden has found some form of stability with the Titans. Since 2018, Tennessee is the only team he’s spent time with, albeit via nine separate transactions.
As he gets ready for yet another training camp, Durden knows exactly what he’s in store for. He’s had to fight, crawl and scratch for everything during his NFL career, and 2020 will be more of the same. It’s nothing new for Durden, who once transferred from South Florida to Youngstown State as a collegiate athlete. Even then, he couldn’t get too comfortable.
No matter how many times he’s received the phone call that every professional athlete dreads, Durden has never lost faith in himself. His overall drive and determination is the reason why at 28 years old, he’s still an NFL player. Not too many journeymen survive in the league as long as he has, and he must be here for a reason.
Even as we discussed the trials and tribulations of being released so many times, I could sense Durden smiling from ear-to-ear on the other side of the telephone, and why not? He has every reason to smile.
Broadway Sports is happy to present to you The Road More Traveled: The Kenneth Durden Story.
JM: What a journey its been for you. What’s your mindset like as you get ready for training camp?
KD: I’m excited to go in and get back to work with the guys. I’m gonna put my best foot forward. That’s what I’ve always done, and that’s what I’ll continue to do. I’m trying to make this roster and help this team win games. I’m staying in shape. I’ve constantly been working out during this pandemic. I’m gonna keep going. Its been a journey, but I wouldn’t change anything about it. Its made me who I am today. I’ve been in and out of the league my entire career. I’m going into training camp with a head full of steam. The goal is to make the team.
JM: You originally signed with the Titans back in 2017. You got your start in the league as an un-drafted free agent with the Raiders in 2016. You also spent time with the Giants. You’ve been a consistent member of the Titans since 2018. When you think back to that first stint in 2017, did you think Tennessee was the place where you’d find some stability?
KD: Honestly? No, I didn’t. After they cut me the first time, I didn’t sign with anybody for a whole year. I flew up to Canada and had a tryout with a CFL team. I definitely didn’t think Tennessee was gonna bring me back. They always said they would, though. From the first time they cut me, they told me they’d bring me back. A whole year went by though. I spent the summer of 2018 with the Giants. They cut me like two or three times. That’s when Tennessee brought me back. I ended up making the 53-man roster that year. It’s been a long journey, man.
JM: What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from it?
KD: I’ve learned that no matter what the situation is, I understand that it’s just a business. It’s just business. I never took it personal. No matter what happens, just keep going. It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve been cut. I’ve never stopped pursuing my dreams. If I get cut and give up on myself, I’ll look back on it later down the road with regret. I’ll look back and say I shouldn’t have given up. I’m never gonna be that person. I’ve always moved things forward. I always put my best foot forward and tried to make the team. I’m not gonna look back with any regrets. I’ve always worked hard to make any roster I’ve been on. I’ve made a career out of it. I don’t have any regrets.
JM: That’s incredible. When you compare your first stint in Tennessee to today, a lot has changed within the franchise. You were playing for a different coaching staff in 2017. What’s the biggest change you’ve personally noticed?
KD: When I was here in 2017, Mike Mularkey was the head coach.