The Titans had Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr in for a meeting this week and Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garappolo is due for one as well, but coach Ken Whisenhunt said Thursday that those visits aren’t a sign of dissatisfaction with Jake Locker.
Locker is entering his fourth season and the team is not expected to exercise the option in his contract to guarantee his return for a fifth season. That decision along with the visits from quarterbacks expected to go early in the draft and the team’s choice to sign Charlie Whitehurst (who played for Whisenhunt in San Diego) as a backup could suggest that Whisenhunt is looking for his own man to lead the Titans offense.
Whisenhunt chalked the Whitehurst signing up to the desire to have someone experienced in the offense, especially while Locker continues his recovery from foot surgery this spring. He also said that he feels “great” about Locker, who is expected to take part in OTAs if not the team’s opening minicamp this month, and said that checking out the rookie quarterbacks-to-be is just due diligence.
“You always have to be prepared because you never know what can happen. If there is an opportunity in this draft where you have a guy you think is really good, then you have to look at it. But more importantly you have to look at 2-3 years down the road,” Whisenhunt said, via the Tennessean. “It is about finding out about these guys. And then, if you don’t have them on your team, you know about them. And if something happens down the road you’ll have an important piece.”
Down the road will be a lot sooner than 2-3 years if Locker doesn’t solidify his grasp on the job during the 2014 and Whitehurst isn’t going to be a realistic answer at the position in the future, which makes it unwise for the Titans to do anything other than consider all of their options at the position this offseason.