The Titans will not exercise their fifth-year option on offensive lineman Chance Warmack‘s rookie contract, the team announced today (Twitter link via Jim Wyatt of TitansOnline.com). The move will ensure that Warmack is eligible for unrestricted free agency in 2017, barring an extension with Tennessee.
[RELATED: 2017 Fifth-Year Option Decision Tracker]
“We have decided to decline the fifth-year option for G Chance Warmack,” GM Jon Robinson said in a statement (Twitter link). “At this point and time for our football team, as we manage the roster and salary cap, we believe this is in the best interest of our team. We talked to Chance and his representation this morning to inform them of our decision. We expect Chance to play well for us this year; and we are not closing the door on his long-term future with our franchise.”
Warmack, 24, has been the Titans’ full-time right guard since being selected 10th overall in the 2013 draft, starting 46 of a possible 48 games over the last three seasons. The Alabama alum has been solid but not spectacular in that role, ranking 40th out of 81 qualified guards in 2015, according to Pro Football Focus’ grades.
Even if Warmack had played consistently well during his first three years, it would have been a tough pill to swallow for the Titans to exercise his fifth-year option. As a top-10 pick, Warmack would have been in line for a higher salary than players picked between 11th and 32nd. And because offensive linemen aren’t split up by position, his projected 2017 salary ($11.902MM) would have been the same as the salary for tackles like Eric Fisher and Luke Joeckel. Currently, only one guard – Kelechi Osemele – earns more than $8MM per year.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.