Last season, the Tennessee Titans brought in defensive end Kamerion Wimbley on a five-year, $35 million contract. The former Florida State Seminoles and Oakland Raiders star was brought in to work with a 4-3 defense and get after the quarterback. The Raiders didn’t give Wimbley much time to put his hands in the dirt because they ran a 3-4 defensive scheme.
The Titans were hoping Wimbley could start fresh in a 4-3 scheme similar to the way he played in college. The Titans invested a lot of money into Wimbley. He has not returned the favor.
In his first year with the Titans, Wimbley recorded 30 tackles and six sacks. That isn’t great when you’re looking for a guy to put up double-digit sacks. This offseason, the Titans brought In Lavar Edwards via the 2013 NFL Draft and Ropati Pitoitua through free agency.
We have heard nothing about Wimbley throughout training camp. That’s a big concern. In the preseason, Wimbley didn’t see much of the field. When he did, the contribution was minimal at most. Wimbley is an athletic freak who Titans fans had high hopes for since he was starting over in a new system. It just doesn’t seem to be translating over.
What happened to Wimbley?
The Titans are down to their 53-man roster after some tough cuts, none that really stood out apart from Fernando Velasco. But the interesting thing is the Titans plan on reducing his playing time and he has now lost his starting job to Pitoitua.
Now I understand that the Titans wanted to get bigger up front to stop the run game. But is Pitoitua that much better than Wimbley?
Pitoitua led the Kansas City Chiefs defensive line in tackles last season with 32 but only had (two) sacks.
Pitoitua broke his hand during The Titans vs. Bengals preseason game. He plans on having it casted and continue to play. I’m not comfortable with this. We will have to see how things shake out. Even questions were being asked about Wimbley being cut. Mike Munchak responded ” I think Kam will be with us for sure” and talks of him playing in nickle packages were brought up.
Now none of that seems like good news if you’re a Titans fan. They need the most help they can get right now at defensive end. Yet, Edwards is still a project that will produce within a few years.
The Titans didn’t sign Wimbley to be a backup and situational player. $35 million dollars is starter money. Maybe they thought wrong but with Wimbley going into only his second year of a five-year contract, this doesn’t sound good.
All statistics and financial data were sourced from ESPN.com