After the Tennessee Titans began the 2013 season looking like they may be able to sneak into the playoffs, injuries to quarterback Jake Locker derailed their hopes. Locker was the catalyst of the offense this season when he was on the field, due to a lack of running game out of Chris Johnson. Locker showed his greatest improvement in 2013 as a pro, but he may not have done enough to secure the faith of the Titans organization.
There’s more to this story, though. It might not be just Locker that has overstayed his welcome in Tennessee.
According to an NFL Network report from Mike Silver and Ian Rapoport, the Titans are ready to move on from their running back, Johnson, as well as their head coach Mike Munchak. The front office and ownership wants a tough, hard-nosed football club and don’t seem to like the direction Munchak had taken them.
So, with Johnson likely to be cut and Munchak likely to be fired, where does Locker come into play? The same report stating that Johnson and Munchak are as good as gone also said that Tennessee is ready to move on from Locker. Not only that, but they could very well be looking at Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler in the 2014 offseason.
Cutler is in the last season with the Bears and has also endured a season of injuries. Although the Bears will likely extend an offer to the former Vanderbilt standout, Tennessee looks like they’ll be in the running to draw him out of the windy city.
This is somewhat of a shocking report due to the fact that Locker made significant improvement this year and is still younger than a guy like Cutler. Locker proved he was a hard-nosed quarterback, wiling to go out of his way and sacrifice himself just to get a first down at times. His feet were what helped propel the offense to new heights when he was healthy and he had made much better decisions through the air.
Locker ended the season with an 86.7 rating before being knocked out for the year, which is pretty impressive considering the type of help he was getting from the run game. Johnson hasn’t been consistent in the back field, therefore the Titans would be justified in letting him go. But, Locker? That’s a curious move. We can only wait and see what unfolds in the coming weeks.