No pressure, Jake Locker.
Entering his fourth season with the Tennessee Titans, Locker learned that the team will not be exercising the fifth-year option on him for the following season.
Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean broke the story Wednesday evening:
Wyatt explained the situation in his report:
The Titans won’t exercise the fifth-year option on Jake Locker’s contract, which means the quarterback will be playing for his future in Tennessee this season.
The decision, which hasn’t been announced by the team but was communicated by sources familiar with the situation, comes as no surprise. Locker has a history of injuries and the option is expensive.
The deadline for teams to pick up the fifth-year option for players from the 2011 draft is Saturday.
Locker played in just seven games for the Titans last season, passing for 1,256 yards, eight touchdowns and four interceptions. A foot injury derailed his season midway through the campaign, but he has been recovering and is on track to return for OTAs in May, per Wyatt:
Wyatt also provides some analysis on how Locker looked during practice, despite still recovering from the injury:
Concerns over his play in recent years and a new head coach in Ken Whisenhunt has many believing that Locker's time in Tennessee could be on borrowed time.
NFL draft analyst Mike Detillier of SaintsReport.com believes if the Titans go with a signal-caller in the first round, Locker's tenure is over after this season, via The Midday 180 on 1045 The Zone:
Despite the fact that he was taken with a high draft pick (eighth overall) back in the 2011 NFL draft, Locker hasn't been able to help turn the franchise around. While the team finished 9-7 in 2011, Locker's teams have gone 6-10 and 7-9 since that point.
With Whisenhunt taking over, how quickly the quarterback and coach gel might be telling of how rapidly the team pulls the trigger on finding a new signal-caller.
Given the current situation, Locker will certainly play with a lot of pressure on his shoulders this season. Locker can still be re-signed after the season ends, but how he responds could dictate his future with the franchise.
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