Is Jake Locker leaving the NFL because of the injuries that have plagued him since day 1 of entering the league, or has it been his inability to live up to the promise of being first round pick at quarterback for the Tennessee Titans?
After yet another injury last season, it seemed like the Titans got the message: Locker isn’t going to become the franchise quarterback they were hoping for. There were rumors that Locker might go to the Philadelphia Eagles where he might be better utilized, but Locker himself was quite sure he was done in a league he arrived at a year too late (after everyone projected he’d leave Washington) and never really made a positive impact on.
I realize this decision is surprising to many, but I know in my heart that it is the right decision and I look forward to spending more time with my family and pursuing other interests. Football has always played a pivotal role in my life, and I love the game, but I no longer have the burning desire necessary to play the game for a living; to continue to do so would be unfair to the next organization with whom I would eventually sign.
Locker played in just 30 of the 64 games in the last four seasons, suffering a variety of injuries over the years, including a dislocated shoulder (2014), a Lisfranc injury (2013), a sprained MCL (2013) and a sprained hip (2013).
Ken Whisenhunt realized what he had even before Locker’s previous injury. Locker is a very fast and mobile quarterback. In short? Not your classic pocket passer, which makes him an easier target out there on the field. Zach Mettenberger isn’t exactly the dream selection at QB, but the head coach preferred him than giving Locker another shot, and so his fate in Tennessee was basically doomed very early on in 2014.
Whether it’s the injuries or simply never becoming the kind of player he was expected to be, Locker has had enough at the age of 26. Or maybe this is just him taking a rest and re evaluating things? It’s hard to say with Locker, who shocked everyone but his own family when he decided to stay on for his final year of eligibility at Washington which possibly cost him some spots and dollars in the draft. His departure from the NFL, where he failed to leave his mark, is just as surprising.