Report: Malik Willis Won't Be Promoted to Starter; Titans 'All-in' on Ryan Tannehill

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 25, 2022

ORCHARD PARK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 19: Malik Willis #7 of the Tennessee Titans looks to pass against the Buffalo Bills during the fourth quarter of the game at Highmark Stadium on September 19, 2022 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Joshua Bessex/Getty Images)
Joshua Bessex/Getty Images

Even after an 0-2 start to the season, the Tennessee Titans aren't looking to bench Ryan Tannehill in favor of Malik Willis.

Peter Schrager provided the latest on NFL on Fox pregame:

"Outside that building, there's a lot of whispers, and maybe louder than whispers, about seeing the third-round pick Malik Willis out of Liberty. Maybe it's time to go to him, I can tell you, speaking to Titans sources, that is not the conversion internally. They are all-in on Tannehill and they still believe they're contenders this season."

Willis saw his first NFL action in a Week 2 blowout loss to the Buffalo Bills, finishing 1-of-4 passing for six yards, plus four carries for 16 yards.

There are high expectations for the former Liberty star, who showcased his dual-threat ability during the preseason. Willis was the third quarterback taken in the draft behind Kenny Pickett and Desmond Ridder.

It's enough for plenty of fans to call for the rookie to take over and prove himself as the quarterback of the future.

On the other hand, Tannehill is just one year removed from leading the Titans to the No. 1 seed in the AFC with a 12-5 record. In 47 appearances with Tennessee, the quarterback has a 101.1 passer rating with 78 touchdowns and a 2.1 percent interception rating.

The team is standing by Tannehill despite the early season struggles, hoping it's enough to remain in playoff contention.

If things don't turn around, however, Tennessee would be smart to see what it has in Willis before the year is over. Tannehill has a $36.6 million cap hit in 2023, but the Titans can save up to $27 million by trading or releasing the quarterback in the offseason, per Spotrac.