Good problems to have remain problems. And Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt currently hopes that the team will have a full-blown problem after the 2014 season.
With the Titans opting not to pick up the fifth-year option on fourth-year quarterback Jake Locker, the team’s current starter enters a contract year. And Whisenhunt hopes that Locker plays well enough to put the team in a delicate spot when it comes to extending his stay.
“I hope so,’’ Whisenhunt tells Peter King of TheMMQB.com regarding whether Locker is the team’s quarterback of the future. “I feel good about what I see out here [in practice]. But you’re not getting hit out here either. The question is, can you do all the right things when you’re about to get hit?”
For Locker, the question also is, can you get up after you get hit?
For the Titans, the question could become whether they’re willing to take a hit in the range of $17 million for 2015 if Locker plays well enough in 2014 to make the Titans want to keep him, since that would in turn create a market for his services elsewhere? With the Titans unwilling to commit $14.66 million on an injury-only basis for 2015, it could be hard to cough up even more money if the light finally comes on for Locker.
Of course, it’s possible that the Titans already have concluded that Locker is merely the quarterback of the present, and that Whisenhunt doesn’t want to undermine that reality by saying, “No. We’re done with the guy after this season.”