The Tennessee Titans have plenty of things to mull over early in the offseason, as they have big questions at head coach and at quarterback. They have to decide whether or not they want to keep Mike Munchak or not, but the more uncertain question involves Jake Locker’s future in Tennessee. Early indications are that the Titans won’t keep him, as it is unclear if they still view Locker as a potential franchise quarterback. Not only do injuries hurt Locker, but his fifth-year team option is the biggest deterrent for the Titans when it comes to deciding whether or not to keep Locker.
Ian Rapoport and Mike Silver of the NFL Network report that the Titans are not expected to sign Locker’s fifth-year option, which is worth an astounding $13 million. While Locker’s base salary for next year is very affordable, that team option is almost unseemly, and I think it would be a shock for the Titans to retain Locker. He has flashed plenty of ability, but it’s not worth paying that much money. Plus, Rapoport has linked Jay Cutler to the Titans, though the Titans would be banking on drafting a new franchise QB next year rather than signing one in free agency. In fact, the Titans have a better chance at keeping Locker than signing Cutler, since I would be a slightly surprised if the Chicago Bears let Cutler go.
Locker’s situation is going to continue to be one of the most interesting ones in the league, and it’s a big issue that the Titans will have to figure out. He looked promising this season and has ability, but he might not be good enough and would make too much money in order to have another year to essentially prove himself as “the guy” to the Titans.