Titans general manager Jon Robinson indicated that the clock is ticking for 2020 first-round pick Isaiah Wilson to salvage his football career.
In meeting with reporters Tuesday, Robinson was asked about Wilson, and his message was clear to the right tackle prospect: Shape up or get shipped out.
Wilson, chosen 29th overall by the Titans last year, was a colossal bust in his first season, as the right tackle came to training camp out of shape and was plagued by a number of off-field issues. The Titans wound up placing him on the non-football illness list on Dec. 9, and Robinson indicated he has not spoken to Wilson since.
“We put him on the reserve non-football illness. I haven't spoken to him since that list got put out. We did a lot of work a year ago, leading up to selecting him, the evaluation process, talking to different sources and visiting with him countless numbers of times,” Robinson said. “And for whatever, the player this fall here in Nashville wasn't the guy that we spent time with last year. 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. I know what the expectation level is here, and it's no different than any other player on the football team. We have a certain standard that we hold players to prepare and perform at professionally and as people, and there's a lot of work to be done there.”
While Robinson himself has not spoken to Wilson, he said that other members of the organization have been in contact with Wilson.
“We'll see. I'm constantly monitoring the situation. We have people that have been in contact with him, that I've talked to second and third-party wise, but we'll see how that goes,” Robinson said.
If Wilson doesn't make it out of training camp this summer and the Titans cut him, the club would absorb a cap hit of around $5.38 million in dead money against a salary cap that is already shrinking from last season.
Wilson played just three snaps of garbage time against the Indianapolis Colts in his rookie season. He was involved in two separate car crashes, plus an incident at Tennessee State University where police were called. Wilson also spent two different stints on the Reserve/Covid-19 list.
Robinson said the Titans have tried to help Wilson get his life on track, but thus far to no avail.
“We've tried to exhaust a lot of resources trying to help him, but at the end of the day, he has to make a determination if he wants to do things the way we want it done. We're not asking anybody to do anything different than we are the other 90 guys in our off-season program or 53 when we get down to the cut time.”
Wilson thus far has been a direct contradiction to Robinson's and the Titans' mantra of team first players who love the game. Robinson reiterated that mantra on Tuesday.
"That's the one thing that we want is guys that love ball, guys that want to be pro football players, not guys that just put pro football player on the hashtag of their Instagram or Snapchat or on their Twitter. Guys have to actually want to play pro football. It's a strain. Pro football is hard, and you've got to really love football and want to do it and that's more than just putting it on your Twitter as your occupation," Robinson said.