Caleb Farley

Titans To Decline CB Caleb Farley’s Fifth-Year Option

Today marks the deadline on fifth-year option decisions, and the Titans are among the teams which had yet to make on call on their 2021 first-rounder. In the case of cornerback Caleb Farley, Tennessee will pass on the 2025 option, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports.

[RELATED: Fifth-Year Option Tracker]

Farley entered the NFL with injury concerns, but his production in college (six interceptions, 19 pass deflections across the 2018 and ’19 seasons) nevertheless made him one of the more attractive defensive prospects in the class. So far at the pro level, the Virginia Tech product has been limited to just 12 contests; he missed the 2023 season in its entirety.

For that reason, today’s decision comes as little surprise. Picking up Farley’s option would have locked the Titans into a fully guaranteed 2025 salary of $12.47MM. Given his missed time, that commitment would have carried considerable risk. Instead, the 25-year-old will now enter the 2024 campaign knowing it represents his walk year. Farley has started only a pair of games to date, so attaining a first-team role will be a critical first step to establishing his value.

Tennessee has been active in drafting at the CB spot in recent years, selecting Kristian Fulton in the second round in 2020 before adding Farley to the mix. Fulton departed in free agency this offseason, leaving 2021 third-rounder Elijah Molden and 2022 second-rounder Roger McCreary to join Farley as in-house options at the position. Of course, the Titans have been busy in adding to their secondary recently, in part due to the shortcomings of their drafted players.

Tennessee added Chidobe Awuzie in free agency before – following a lengthy negotiation period – trading for Chiefs standout L’Jarius Sneed and subsequently extending him. Those veterans will be counted on as starters, meaning Farley will have a tall order in terms of earning a sizable role on defense even if he can remain healthy next season. Still, he possesses notable upside given his age and college pedigree, and a step forward in his development during the 2024 campaign will help his free agent stock considerably. As things stand now, though, the Titans are planning for a CB room without him in the near future.

2025 NFL Fifth-Year Option Tracker

NFL teams have until May 2 to officially pick up fifth-year options on 2021 first-rounders. The 2020 CBA revamped the option structure and made them fully guaranteed, rather than guaranteed for injury only. Meanwhile, fifth-year option salaries are now determined by a blend of the player’s position, initial draft placement and performance- and usage-based benchmarks:

  • Two-time Pro Bowlers (excluding alternates) will earn the same as their position’s franchise tag
  • One-time Pro Bowlers will earn the equivalent of the transition tag
  • Players who achieve any of the following will receive the average of the third-20th-highest salaries at their position:
    • At least a 75% snap rate in two of their first three seasons
    • A 75% snap average across all three seasons
    • At least 50% in each of first three seasons
  • Players who do not hit any of those benchmarks will receive the average of the third-25th top salaries at their position

With the deadline looming, we will use the space below to track all the option decisions from around the league:

  1. QB Trevor Lawrence, Jaguars ($25.66MM): Exercised
  2. QB Zach Wilson, Broncos* ($22.41MM): Declined
  3. QB Trey Lance, Cowboys** ($22.41MM): Declined
  4. TE Kyle Pitts, Falcons ($10.88MM): Exercised
  5. WR Ja’Marr Chase, Bengals ($21.82MM): Exercised
  6. WR Jaylen Waddle, Dolphins ($15.59MM): Exercised
  7. T Penei Sewell, Lions ($19MM): Extended through 2029
  8. CB Jaycee Horn, Panthers ($12.47MM): Exercised
  9. CB Patrick Surtain, Broncos ($19.82MM): Exercised
  10. WR DeVonta Smith, Eagles ($15.59MM): Extended through 2028
  11. QB Justin Fields, Steelers*** ($25.66MM): Declined
  12. DE Micah Parsons, Cowboys ($21.32MM): Exercised
  13. T Rashawn Slater, Chargers ($19MM): Exercised
  14. OL Alijah Vera-Tucker, Jets ($13.31MM): Exercised
  15. QB Mac Jones, Jaguars**** ($25.66MM): Declined
  16. LB Zaven Collins, Cardinals ($13.25MM): Declined
  17. T Alex Leatherwood, Raiders: N/A
  18. LB Jaelan Phillips, Dolphins ($13.3MM): Exercised
  19. LB Jamin Davis, Commanders ($14.48MM): Declined
  20. WR Kadarius Toney, Chiefs***** ($14.35MM): Declined
  21. DE Kwity Paye, Colts ($13.4MM): Exercised
  22. CB Caleb Farley, Titans ($12.47MM): Declined
  23. T Christian Darrisaw, Vikings ($16MM): Exercised
  24. RB Najee Harris, Steelers ($6.79MM): Declined
  25. RB Travis Etienne, Jaguars ($6.14MM): Exercised
  26. CB Greg Newsome, Browns ($13.38MM): To be exercised
  27. WR Rashod Bateman, Ravens ($14.35MM): N/A; extended through 2026
  28. DE Payton Turner, Saints ($13.39MM): Declined
  29. CB Eric Stokes, Packers ($12.47MM): Declined
  30. DE Greg Rousseau, Bills ($13.39MM): Exercised
  31. LB Odafe Oweh, Ravens ($13.25MM): Exercised
  32. LB Joe Tryon-Shoyinka, Buccaneers ($13.25MM): Declined

* = Jets traded Wilson on April 22, 2024
** = 49ers traded Lance on August 25, 2023
*** = Bears traded Fields on March 16, 2024
**** = Patriots traded Jones on March 10, 2024
***** = Giants traded Toney on October 27, 2022

Titans CB Caleb Farley Will Not Return In 2023

DECEMBER 22: When speaking to the media on Friday, head coach Mike Vrabel acknowledged (via ESPN’s Turron Davenport) that while Farley has “worked hard” to return to the lineup, he will not play in 2023. Having been eliminated from postseason contention last week, the Titans will take the cautious approach in this situation. Farley will enter 2024 as a pending free agent presuming Tennessee declines his fifth-year option, making the campaign one with major financial implications for him.

DECEMBER 20: Injuries have defined Caleb Farley‘s NFL career, and the former first-round pick is on the verge of missing an entire season. But the Titans can at least begin reevaluating the third-year cornerback in practice.

Stationed on the reserve/PUP list for nearly four months, Farley returned to practice for the Titans on Wednesday,’s Terry McCormick tweets. Farley’s latest back surgery, which took place in December 2022, sidelined him throughout the offseason and for the regular season’s first 15 weeks.

Farley has suffered two ACL tears — one during his freshman year at Virginia Tech, the other in 2021 — and has undergone three back surgeries since 2019. Farley underwent a surgery to address a 2019 back injury, and while he played 10 games that season to vault himself onto the first-round radar, he needed a microdiscectomy in March 2021. Farley has missed 36 NFL games since going off the 2021 draft board 22nd overall.

It is difficult to gauge Farley’s talent due to the injury struggles that have plagued him since his Virginia Tech days, but the Titans had begun to lose confidence last season. Coming back from his October 2021 ACL tear on time in 2022, Farley started just one game last season. During the nine games for which Farley dressed, he played only 17% of Tennessee’s defensive snaps.

The Titans fired Jon Robinson just before news of Farley’s impending back surgery broke, with ownership indicating the team’s injury issues during the GM’s seven-year run had become a concern. A first-round pick who has been unable to stay on the field, Farley likely loomed as a central figure in the team’s mounting case against keeping Robinson, who had signed an extension earlier in 2022.

Multiyear starter Kristian Fulton, chosen in the 2020 second round, is once again on IR. The contract-year cover man missed 20 games from 2020-22 and will be shut down for the season’s remainder due to landing on IR last week. Tennessee has 2022 second-rounder Roger McCreary and UFA pickup Sean Murphy-Bunting in place as its top corners to close out this season. Farley can be moved to the 53-man roster at any point before Week 18, and it will be interesting to see if the team activates him after another extended absence. The Titans will decline Farley’s fifth-year option before the May deadline, and this near-season-long absence has dealt another blow to his career stock.

Titans Trim Roster To 53; RB Hassan Haskins Placed On Commissioner’s Exempt List

The Titans have made a number of moves which have allowed them to set their initial 53-man roster. Here is the full breakdown:




Placed on Reserve/PUP list:

Placed on Commissioner’s Exempt List:

Haskins had been placed on IR yesterday, meaning he will be sidelined for the season. The 2022 fourth-rounder’s future with the team is now murkier, however, given today’s placement on the Exempt List. Haskins – who was arrested on an aggravated assault charge in June – will need to apply for reinstatement to be eligible to return when healthy.

McMath has logged 14 appearances in Tennessee across his two seasons with the team. The former sixth-rounder will lose out on a roster spot in the Titans revamped receiving corps, which will of course be led by free agent signing DeAndre Hopkins. McMath would represent a prime practice squad candidate if he goes unclaimed, something which, given his lack of offensive playing time and production, can be expected.

Letting go of Coley, Johnson and Peko (at least for now) will leave the Titans thin along the defensive interior. That trio has combined to play 147 games in the NFL, representing plenty of experience the team will be without to start the season. Plenty of Tennessee’s success will be determined by the play of Jeffery Simmons and his fellow D-line starters, but they will be leaned on heavily in the absence of veteran backups.

Titans CB Caleb Farley To Begin Season On PUP List

The Titans will be without Caleb Farley to begin the season. The 24-year-old corner is headed to the reserve/PUP list, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

Farley is dealing with a back injury, along with the recent death of his father. His attention will thus be focused outside of football for the time being. By beginning the campaign on the PUP list, he will be sidelined for at least four weeks. The move will leave Tennessee shorthanded at corner in a year where they will rely heavily on their young options at the position.

A 2021 first-rounder, Farley has battled injuries at both the college and NFL levels. His Titans tenure has been limited to just 12 contests so far, and his record of missed time will now continue into 2023. The Virginia Tech product has a pair of interceptions to his name, but his struggles in coverage have led to poor PFF evaluations in both of his Nashville campaigns.

Tennessee signed Sean Murphy-Bunting in free agency to a one-year, $3.5MM deal. That contract could prove to be a bargain if the former Buccaneer can deliver a productive season. Murphy-Bunting will be pegged for a starting role on the outside, as will 2020 second-rounder Kristian Fulton. The Titans also have Roger McCreary and Elijah Molden, another pair of recent Day 2 selections, in place to log a signficant defensive workload.

Upon his return, Farley will aim to carve out a more signficant role than the one he has received to date in his NFL career. He has logged 163 snaps on defense, and saw only a moderate workload on special teams last year. With a decision on his fifth-year option needing to be made at the end of the 2023 season, plenty is at stake for him this year. His debut this will be delayed, though, adding to the urgency he will have when he receives a clean bill of health.

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/22/23

Saturday’s minor moves:

Carolina Panthers

Green Bay Packers

Jacksonville Jaguars

New York Jets

Tennessee Titans

The Corbett news comes as no surprise, given the expectation from the spring that he would miss time in the regular season. The Panthers’ starting right guard suffered an ACL tear during the 2022 season finale, making him a candidate for a reserve/PUP designation. That would sideline him for at least four contests, so it is encouraging Carolina has elected instead to use the active designation, from which players can be activated at any time during camp.

Signed to provide last-minute offensive line help for the Jets last season, Brown played 12 games on the blindside last season while battling a shoulder ailment. Despite Mekhi Becton being healthy this offseason, the 37-year-old is the favorite to hold down the LT role for New York as the team looks to improve its pass protection at the start of the Aaron Rodgers era. If healthy in time for the spring, Brown will play a large role in determining their success on that front.

Farley’s brief NFL career has seen a continuation of his injury concerns dating back to college. The 2021 first-rounder saw a herniated disk end his season in December. He underwent surgery to address the issue, and the team may feel the need to proceed with caution given his potentially sizeable role with the Titans’ secondary. Radunz continues to recover from the ACL tear which likewise ended his second campaign in Nashville late in the regular season.

Titans CB Caleb Farley To Undergo Surgery, Miss Rest Of Season

Injury trouble will shut down Caleb Farley for a second straight season, and the nature of this injury invites concern about the former first-round pick’s long-term outlook.

Already on Tennessee’s IR, Farley will not return this season due to another back surgery. Farley is undergoing a microdiscectomy procedure to repair a herniated disk, Adam Schefter of reports (on Twitter). While the second-year cornerback is expected to be ready for the Titans’ offseason program, he has dealt with extensive injury trouble dating back to early in his college career.

Farley has suffered two ACL tears — one during his freshman year at Virginia Tech, the other last season — and will have undergone three back surgeries since 2019. Farley underwent a surgery to address a 2019 back injury, and while he played 10 games that season to vault himself onto the first-round radar, he needed a microdiscectomy in March 2021. Neither that procedure nor Farley’s 2020 COVID-19 opt-out deterred the Titans from using their 2021 first-rounder on him, but the team has not received much of a return on that investment.

The former high-end prospect went down three games into his rookie season, which did not begin on time, and has only played 103 defensive snaps this year. Farley could not move into Tennessee’s starting lineup to start this season, and after starting one game (Week 2), he returned to a backup role the rest of the way. This amounts to another lost season for the 6-foot-2 defender.

The Titans fired the GM who chose Farley — Jon Robinsonearlier this week. While Robinson certainly had draft hits — Derrick Henry, Kevin Byard, Harold Landry, Jeffery Simmons — he took one of this era’s biggest busts (tackle Isaiah Wilson) in the 2020 first round and chose Farley last year. Simmons was an injury risk when the Titans chose him; he had suffered an ACL tear while training for the 2019 draft. While Simmons has rewarded the Titans and will enter 2023 ticketed for a monster extension, Farley will face a crucial year after this latest injury-induced shutdown.

In the years sandwiching their Farley choice, the Titans used second-round picks on Kristian Fulton and Roger McCreary. Those two have been season-long starters, helping a team that has been without slot corner Elijah Molden for most of the season. The Titans placed Molden on IR for the second time Wednesday; a groin injury has plagued the second-year cover man since before the season began.

Titans Place CB Caleb Farley On IR

Caleb Farley will miss at least the next four weeks. The Titans announced that they have placed the former first-round cornerback on injured reserve.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter), Farley suffered a disc injury on Sunday. He’ll undergo more tests to determine the severity of the injury and how much time he’ll ultimately miss. ESPN’s Turron Davenport writes that Farley is feared to have suffered a herniated disk, an injury that would likely require surgery and knock him out for the rest of the 2022 campaign.

It was thanks in part to a back injury that Farley fell down the draft board to the Titans during the 2021 draft. Farley got into six games as a rookie before suffering a torn ACL, and while there was hope that he’d return as a starter in 2022, that hadn’t been the case through the first half of the season. The 24-year-old has started only one of his nine appearances, collecting 10 tackles. Prior to his injury, he hadn’t played a defensive snap since Week 5.

The Titans made a handful of additional moves on Tuesday. The team promoted linebacker Joe Schobert and defensive lineman Larrell Murchison from the practice squad. Schobert has seen time in three games for Tennessee this season, compiling nine tackles and one forced fumble. The former Pro Bowler has seven seasons of his experience, including an 112-tackle campaign in 2021. Murchison, a Titans fifth-round pick in 2020, has collected one tackle in three games this season.

Latest On Titans’ CB Competition

The Titans enjoyed a successful 2021 regular season in no small part due to their play on the defensive side of the ball. Much of that unit will return this season, but there are of course positional battles set to take place during training camp, including in the secondary. 

In a breakdown of the team’s cornerback room, Terry McCormick of notes that 2020 second-rounder Kristian Fulton is set to continue as a full-time starter. In 2021, he totalled 14 pass breakups and allowed a competition percentage of just 51%. The first-team role opposite him is up for grabs, though, and Tennessee has a few options to consider.

One of them is Caleb Farley, who entered the league last season amidst injury concerns dating back to his college career at Virginia Tech. He was limited to just three games in his rookie campaign as a result of a torn ACL, leaving him with little advantage, if any, over his primary competition. The Titans drafted Roger McCreary in the second round of this year’s draft, giving them another highly-regarded member of a young CB room.

The Auburn product impressed during spring workouts, McCormick notes. Especially as Farley continues to recover from the injury, he has a path to significant playing time as a rookie. That could come on the outside, but McCreary has also spent some time practicing in the slot. That role belongs to 2021 third-rounder Elijah Molden, but the Titans could, of course, use packages in which all four of their young CBs see the field at the same time.

Outside of those players, Tennessee also has veteran Buster Skrine as at least a depth option capable of stepping up in the event of injuries or stagnated development. If the team’s top DBs play to their caliber, however, they could be in line for another successful defensive performance in 2022.

NFL COVID-19 List Updates: 12/30/21

Here are Thursday’s reserve/COVID-19 list updates:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

  • Activated from virus list: OL Cody Ford, CB Cam Lewis
  • Activated from practice squad virus list: TE Quintin Morris

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

  • Placed on practice squad virus list: LB Omari Cobb

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team