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Steelers lose free agent CB Blake to Titans; LB Garvin signs with Redskins

| Thursday, March 17, 2016, 6:39 p.m.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Steelers cornerback Antwon Blake sits on the bench after the Broncos defeated the Steelers during an AFC divisional playoff game Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016, in Denver.
Chaz Palla | Trib Total Media
Steelers linebacker Terence Garvin plays against the Bills Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015 at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

The Steelers' secondary got thinner Thursday when unrestricted free agent cornerback Antwon Blake signed a one-year deal with the Tennessee Titans and reunited with former defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau.

The much-maligned Blake started all 16 regular-season games for the Steelers and finished with 76 tackles and two interceptions, including one he returned for a touchdown. However, Blake struggled in coverage. He allowed a league-high 1,028 receiving yards and 28 missed tackles, according to Pro Football Focus.

The Steelers re-signed William Gay and brought back Ross Cockrell, but have only Cortez Allen (who was benched the past two years) and second-year cornerbacks Senquez Golson and Doran Grant. Golson missed all of last year with a shoulder injury, and Grant spent the majority of the season on the practice squad.

Brandon Boykin, who the Steelers traded for in August, is still a free agent. The Steelers finished 31st in the NFL against the pass last year.

Also Thursday, the Steelers lost reserve linebacker Terence Garvin, a West Virginia product. Garvin announced on Instagram that he signed with the Washington Redskins.

The Steelers weren't interested in bringing back Garvin, who didn't receive a qualifying offer from the Steelers as a restricted free agent two weeks ago, which allowed him to sign elsewhere.

Garvin played almost exclusively on special teams in his three years with the Steelers.

The Steelers have three inside linebackers with experience on the roster: Lawrence Timmons, Ryan Shazier and Vince Williams.

The Steelers have lost five free agents: Steve McLendon (Jets), Sean Spence (Titans), Kelvin Beachum (Jaguars), Blake and Garvin.

Mark Kaboly is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. He can be reached at mkaboly@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MarkKaboly_Trib.

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