Isaiah Wilson probably shouldn’t take out any long-term leases in the Nashville area just yet.
After Titans general manager Jon Robinson’s scathing review of the 2020 first-round pick’s rookie season, Wilson should have gotten the message that he is on proverbial thin ice, just heading into his second season in Tennessee.
His rookie year was a total washout, as he played only three offensive snaps, plus one on special teams where he was pancaked, and his off-field incidents easily surpassed his number of snaps played. First, he showed up out of shape and struggled in training camp practices. While in camp, there was the incident at a party at Tennessee state where the police report stated he nearly jumped from a second floor balcony. There were two car crashes, including one with a DUI charge attached and two different says on the reserve/Covid-19 list. Wilson was inactive for most of the year and suspended for one game before finally being placed on the non-football illness list, supposedly to give him a chance to get the help he needs. Instead, social media videos of him partying on a yacht came to light after his rookie season ended by being placed on that list on Dec. 9.
Robinson said quite a bit about Wilson when asked in media availability about his situation last week. The main takeaway from it, though, is this: Robinson has had no direct contact with Wilson, but has had people who have been in touch and, make no mistake, the Titans are monitoring Wilson closely, and will be throughout the off-season and into training camp and preseason.
You can boil what Robinson said about Wilson down into this one sentence that was part of his response.
“I think he’s going to have to make a determination if he wants to do everything necessary to play pro football and that’s going to be on him,” Robinson told the media.
The ball is clearly in Wilson’s court. For now, the Titans are willing to give him a chance to right the wrongs of his first year in Tennessee. There was an outlier report this week that said Wilson would be traded or released this off-season. I have it on authority from a solid source that that report is not true. But that same source indicated that Robinson is not messing around and Wilson needs to get his act together soon. Or else that premature report could indeed come to fruition.
The Titans could benefit from Wilson getting his act together. Dennis Kelly, who started at right tackle instead of Wilson, is a free agent, and while Kelly could be re-signed, it would be nice for a first-round pick to make some sort of contribution.
Besides, Wilson has zero trade value right now and releasing him before the season would be a dead money cap hit of more than $5 million, and the Titans are snug against the cap right now.
Those things work in Wilson’s favor right now. But he shouldn’t get too comfortable. If he doesn’t show that his attitude and commitment have improved tremendously, Robinson has already proven that he isn’t afraid to admit a mistake. In 2018, he released Kevin Dodd, who like Wilson showed a similar lack of interest in football, albeit without the off-field missteps.
And just this past season, Robinson got tired of Vic Beasley’s lack of commitment after seven games, cutting him even at a cost of $9 million against the cap.
For Wilson, the opportunity is still there, but he had better start appreciating it a lot more if he doesn’t want to go down in Titans lore as an even bigger first-round waste than Pacman Jones.
Terry McCormick is the founder and editor of titaninsider.com and has been covering the Tennessee Titans since 1997. TitanInsider.com was founded in 2010 and is one of the leading media outlets covering the local NFL team with a presence online, on social media, radio and television. TitanInsider.com is published in partnership with Main Street Media of Middle Tennessee.