Jake Locker was a big surprise as the No. 8 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. It’s funny to think this is only his third year in the league — he’s missed so much time with injury it seems like he’s been around at least half a dozen years. So it’s only natural that the Tennessee Titans are reportedly going to look for a replacement in the 2014 NFL Draft. And when you think about it, that’s actually a smart move.
The 2014 NFL Draft class is rich with quarterbacks — almost to the extent of the 2012 NFL Draft although without a surefire day one starter like Andrew Luck. Still, the Titans have a decision to make because next year is Locker’s last of his rookie contract and if they pick up his team option in 2015, they’ll owe him roughly $15 million to sit on the bench with casts all over his body.
Here’s the thing: If the Titans take a quarterback this spring, he doesn’t have to start on opening day in 2014. He can sit behind Locker for a year and even challenge him for playing time in a true quarterback competition. With the new collective bargaining agreement, the rookie signal-caller won’t be paid like a British prince, so the Titans can afford to make this sub-investment to ensure they’re not hung out to dry after Locker’s contract expires. Trust me, Tennessee’s brass can see Zach Mettenberger under center in baby blue already.