Last week, the Tennessee Titans released their 2011 fourth-round pick Jamie Harper due to his ever-expanding waistline, his limited skill set and his never-ending list of excuses.
Since Eddie George retired eight years ago, the Titans have been desperately looking for a change-of-pace running back with good feet to duplicate his production. The Titans may have an excellent track record unearthing talent at other positions, but they have a po0r track record in selecting big backs.
Harper showed promise in his rookie campaign, but he was unable to shake TGI Fridays like he did tacklers on game day, a fate that former second-round pick Lendale White also fell victim to before ballooning to over 300 pounds and eating himself out of the league.
When the Titans signed Shonn Greene in the off-season, Harper’s fate was sealed. Although big backs are near extinction, those who continue to survive roster cuts can catch the ball out of the backfield and provide more than serviceable block protection.
Harper’s replacement, Jalen Parmele, does not fight the ball and even returned kicks last season. Parmele will not likely get many touches, but his unique skill set adds another weapon to an offense that has the potential to be very potent.
Every player in the NFL is expected to improve from year to year, and when the only thing that has changed during a player’s three years in the NFL is his weight, being released should not be a surprise.
Harper has the ability and the talent, and maybe one day he will put it all together, but unfortunately it will not be in the Music City.