In another sign that the new regime in Tennessee isn’t sold on quarterback Jake Locker, the Titans have decided not to pick up the fifth-year option on Locker’s rookie contract.
Although the team hasn’t formally announced a decision on Locker’s option, Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean reports that the decision has been made. That’s no surprise, as fifth-year options are guaranteed for injury, and Locker’s option would be worth about $14.6 million. Locker has already shown himself to be injury-prone, and the Titans don’t want to risk picking up the option this year, having Locker suffer a serious injury next year, and being on the hook for all that money in 2015.
Locker has shown flashes of talent since the Titans took him with the eighth overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft, but he hasn’t shown that he has what it takes to be Tennessee’s franchise quarterback. It’s still possible that the Titans could keep Locker with the franchise or transition tag next year, or by agreeing to a new contract. But he’s heading into a contract year in 2014.
Now the biggest question facing the Titans is whether they’ll draft Locker’s replacement next week.