Titans won’t pick up Jake Locker’s fifth-year option

AP

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.

28 responses to “Titans won’t pick up Jake Locker’s fifth-year option

  1. He was having a coming out party until the injury last year. Maybe this is overly optimistic, because I root for all young men to be successful, but if he stays healthy contract won’t be an issue.

  2. I still don’t know why they chose Ken Whisenhunt to be their head coach. He’s a finesse, pass happy guy whose a poor evaluator of young QB’s. That team was built over a couple of years to be ground and pound and you bring that guy in?

  3. Locker should take Ben Tate’s advice and become a safety. I thought watching him play at UW that he could be an elite NFL safety.

    He’s a hell of an athlete, big, fast and seems to understand offensive/defensive concepts really well. He just doesn’t throw the ball so good.

  4. A year on the bench watching and getting stronger would do his career a world of good. His issue is health, be isn’t a top tier QB but he is better than a lot of guys starting now……. His 74.0 passer rating in 2012 was better than Eli, Geno, Pryor, Weeden, Schaub and Flacco in 2013

  5. Sometimes a player peaks early. That’s the chance a team takes in the draft, hoping what they see in college is a player’s floor.

    With Locker, his best year was his freshman year. He was raw, but played with a lot of promise that never developed. I’m afraid injuries have derailed any chance of him becoming “that guy”.

    Tannehill has some of the same attributes and may have reached his peak. I know he was sacked a ton, but when measured against his peers, he has not improved enough to be the franchise guy. We’ll see what they do next year.

  6. Locker has talent… He was exceptional at UW… Not sure he has enough of it at the next level… He has the wrong HC and system if he is to continue to grow

  7. When Whisenhunt was hired as the Cards head coach, he clearly stipulated that his ideal offense coming from the Steelers was 70% runing and 30% passing offense. Its still there on the internet for all to see.
    Then Whisenhunt got converted by Kurt Warner who demonstrated beyond Whisenhunt’s wildest imagination what a real passing offense could do.
    That ruined it for Whisenhunt because after he ran Warner off (refused to upgrade the offensive line to protect Warner), Whisenhunt became enamored with a pass first offense, even though he knows nothing on how to run one. And he proved it after Warner left.
    OK Titan fans, get ready for roller coaster seasons after which your ownership will probably fire Whisenhunt for his many weaknesses.
    And be ready to Timmy T time with the Titans.

  8. Two thoughts:

    Yeah, Locker showed some flashes, but it was a very very small sample size. No way they can pick up his option.

    Indy did get lucky with P. Manning. However, for Luck, they intentionally tanked the season. Who can forget the Suck For Luck campaign when they kept running Curtis Painter out there every week even though better QBs were available on the street. Hell no, they didn’t want to win any games that year. Suck for Luck. That’s why the NFL should go to the NBA ping pong ball system. The more you suck, the more balls you get, but you don’t automatically get the first pick.

    Can’t stand Indy. They had one of the GOATs with Manning, and now we had to endure another decade of playing them 2x a year when they have an “elite” QB. Luck is not elite yet, but will be soon enough.

  9. Anybody who says the kid can’t play is a moron or just hasn’t watched him play. His problem is staying on the field, which he has not shown he can do. But he is talented, smart, & works hard. If he can overcome the injury-prone label like Matt Stafford I think he can be special.

  10. The only risk for a team on picking up 5th year option is injury and this dude is prone, seems to me he looks the part if he can just stay on the field, or looking at a good career back up.

  11. Anyone who thinks Locker peaked in college didn’t see the way he was navigating NFL defenses before his hip/knee injury against the Jets last season. He showed distinct improvement every week and the excitement in Nashville was building. As one local sports talk radio host said, “Locker was making this his city.” And then … cue injury.

  12. Swap Locker for Christian Ponder. Maybe a change of scenery would benefit both players, and if they only become backups, at least it won’t be for the team that drafted them as their franchise savior.

  13. Jake Locker is going to make himself a lot of money, just watch. A starting QB in this league with his gifts? With a starting job and playing for a long term deal? About 15 teams in the NFL just cheered the Titans’ decision.

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