Titans Rumors: Locker, Johnson, Verner

Although Titans team president/CEO Tommy Smith recently lent his full endorsement to QB Jake Locker, Locker can expect to have some competition, according to Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean. Although it is expected that the 2014 draft’s top quarterbacks–Johnny Manizel, Teddy Bridgewater, and Blake Bortles–will be off the board by the time the Titans pick with the 11th overall selection, new head coach Ken Whisenhunt noted that there is a lot of talent at the position in this year’s draft and that he would like to have “five or six” of the incoming QBs.

Potential options to provide some younger competition for Locker that could be had after the first round include Derek Carr, Aaron Murray, Jimmy Garoppolo, and Zach Mettenberger, all of whom have enough talent to be starters in the league. Of course, the Titans also have Ryan Fitzpatrick under contract. Although his $2.75MM base salary puts him at risk of being a cap casualty, Titans officials have indicated that they “feel comfortable” with Fitzpatrick. In any event, 2014 seems to be Locker’s last year to prove he is Tennessee’s long-term solution at quarterback.

A couple quick updates on two of the bigger names on the Titans roster:

  • There has been no change in talks with RB Chris Johnson, according to Wyatt (via Twitter). Our Luke Adams noted last week that it is widely expected the Titans will cut Johnson, and since then, GM Ruston Webster indicated the team will be patient when it comes to a decision regarding Johnson. Wyatt tweeted that Johnson will “stick to his word” and will not accept a pay cut.
  • Wyatt also tweets that the Titans are continuing to talk to CB Alterraun Verner, but that nothing is imminent. As Adams pointed out several days ago, the Titans would love to keep Verner but do not want to use the franchise tag on him.
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