Veteran NFL safety Bernard Pollard has asked to be released from his contract with the Titans, according to Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean, who adds that Pollard made his request to general manager Ruston Webster at the end of the 2014 season. Per Wyatt, the 30-year-old Pollard has not yet been informed of the team’s decision.
2014 was Pollard’s second season in Tennessee — after playing under a one-year deal in 2013 that netted him $2MM, Pollard re-signed with the Titans last March, inking a two-year extension. His base salary is set to increase from $1.65MM last year to $3.1MM in 2015, but that money isn’t guaranteed. If the Titans do honor Pollard’s request for release, they’d only be on the hook for a prorated portion of his signing bonus, meaning they’d be left with just $425K in dead money.
The Titans are Pollard’s fourth NFL team, as he’s also spent time with the Chiefs, Texans, and Ravens — he won a Super Bowl with Baltimore in 2013. He played in just five games last season before landing on injured reserve with an Achilles injury, but he was a solid player as recently as 2013, when he racked up 77 tackles while starting all 16 games, and rated as the league’s No. 21 safety among 86 qualifiers, per Pro Football Focus (subscription required). In total, Pollard has amassed almost 550 tackles during his nine-year career, while adding 12 interceptions and 11 forced fumbles.
Given the Titans recent lack of success, it’s likely that Pollard’s frustration with the organization as a whole serves as motive. As Wyatt writes, Pollard seemed to indicate as recently as last month that Tennessee wasn’t where he wanted to be. “I am not getting any younger, so I want to win, I really do, I want to win,” Pollard said. “Looking at how things took place this year, looking at where (the Titans) need to be for next year, that is a tough, tough question, and I don’t even know if they can give me the answer.” Additionally, Bernard took to Twitter following the Titans’ firing of executive Lake Dawson earlier today, arguing that the “wrong guy” had been let go.