The Tennessee Titans have been happy with quarterback Jake Locker in the strides he has made. The problem is that the progress seems to be constantly derailed by injuries and as much as the Titans might like Locker, he needs to be on the field. Locker dealt with a separated shoulder last season and this season, he missed time with a nasty looking hip injury only to come back and suffer a season-ending Lisfranc injury. The Titans have to make a decision on whether they will pick up Locker’s option going into the 2015 season before the 2014 NFL Draft, so they will have to make that decision based on a less than ideal amount of information.
Locker, the 8th pick of the 2011 NFL Draft, has had a career of flashes of what he could be. In his rookie season, he sat much of the year behind Matt Hasselbeck, but had chances to get on the field and showed flashes of his ability to throw the ball and his athleticism. This happened in his sophomore campaign and this trail goes back to much of his career at Washington. He would look like Superman in one game and have an up and down game the next. In the NFL, this has continued but in this past season with the Titans, he looked far more consistent but ran into injuries.
Should the Titans pick up the option before the draft, they are on the hook for $15 million in 2015. Not only do the Titans have to decide if this is a worthwhile investment based on Locker as a player, but they have to weigh that against the potential options they could bring in if they decide not to pay that option. Ryan Fitzpatrick has filled in with relatively average results, but the Titans may opt to bring in a young quarterback to develop behind Locker in case he gets injured but also with the possibility of surpassing him. With the value of rookie contracts so much lower, they can easily afford to make that investment. The Titans have really made efforts to invest around Locker and build an offense that could succeed with weapons around him as well as the offensive line. They are potentially built well for a young quarterback to succeed, whether it be Locker or another quarterback as they try to make strides with in the AFC South.