NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Isaiah Wilson isn’t done with the Titans. At least not yet. But there’s no way around it now. The marriage between offensive tackle and football team is headed for divorce.
For general manager Jon Robinson and the Titans, it’s better that divorce happens sooner than later, regardless of how painful it may be.
Wilson tweeted the following Monday evening: “I’m done with football as a Titan... No further comments.”
Shortly thereafter he deleted the post from Twitter, but screenshots were saved and the damage was done to an already rock relationship. More than 24 hours later Wilson remains a member of the Titans, albeit on the Reserve/non-football list. But how much longer can this go?
After being selected 29th overall in last April’s NFL Draft, Wilson has been nothing but a headache for the Titans.
He began his first training camp in late July on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, further putting him behind the eight ball after the pandemic significantly reduced any offseason workload rookies normally go through to try to catch up. Before he even returned to practice Wilson was spotted outside of the training camp bubble when he attended a party at Tennessee State University where he was cited for trespassing. A few weeks later he was arrested and charged with DUI after crashing his truck.
Not exactly the first impression you want to make as a rookie. But if anything, things only got worse for Wilson. He was placed once again on the COVID-19 list in late September, spending upwards of a month away from the team again. He later was suspended for a game due to a violation of team rules, and following his reinstatement was immediately placed on the Reserve/Non-Football list and shut down for the season.
Wilson played just four snaps as a rookie, blocking on an extra point and three kneel downs to end the Titans’ rout of the Colts in Indianapolis in late November. Not exactly the return on investment Robinson or the team were looking for out of the centerpiece of their 2020 draft class, which, not surprisingly, was ranked as the worst in the NFL following the season.
The question is whether Wilson can, or even wants to, dedicate himself to being a professional football player. All indications, including Monday night’s tweet, are that Wilson has moved on from football.
There were the New Year’s Eve social media posts of him showering young women with dollar bills on a boat party in Miami. There’s the new Instagram account in which Wilson, using the handle @GGBowser, describes himself as a public figure and seems to be promoting a music label called Be Different Records.
Even more troubling is the fact that, at least through last week, Wilson had not even reached out to Robinson or the Titans about his future. Does that sound like someone that can help this team? Or even someone who cares about how his actions impact an organization that invested so much in him?
On a strictly human level, you’re left to hope that Wilson finds peace and direction, and is able to put this rather public meltdown behind him and live a productive, happy life. But when it comes to football there is nothing else to say other than he is a total bust.
And right now, even with all the areas the Titans do need to address, the offensive line is well constructed. The headache of keeping Wilson around just isn’t worth it.
Releasing him will be costly. Unless the Titans fight and receive some kind of relief for breach of contract due to Wilson’s behavior, they will be on the hook for $11.3 million of the total value of his $11.56 million rookie contract. They will take a painful cap hit of $5.3 million this year when the salary cap is being reduced, and hits of more than $2 million each of the next two years.
But it’s difficult to fathom another team willing to trade for Wilson to take that contract off the Titans’ books or, frankly, him wanting to play in Tennessee or elsewhere.
So Robinson is left with no choice. It’s time to cut bait, admit the mistake and hope to strike gold with his 2021 draft class.
2020 was a massive swing and a miss. And there was no bigger whiff than Wilson, who will go down as one of the biggest first-round pick disappointments in NFL Draft history.