On Thursday, the Tennessee Titans cut ties with offensive tackle Michael Oher after just one disappointing season with the franchise.
The team announced the move via its official website:
The Titans waived (injured) offensive tackle Michael Oher, who played in 11 games for Tennessee last season before being placed on injured reserve in December with a toe injury.
The six-year veteran signed with the Titans as an unrestricted free agent last offseason after spending his first five NFL seasons with the Baltimore Ravens.
Oher started the first 11 games of the 2014 season at right tackle. He did not play in the next two games and was placed on season-ending injured reserve with a toe injury Dec. 13.
Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean reported the news, which he claims did not come as much of a surprise:
The Baltimore Sun's Aaron Wilson speculated the Titans made the move with salary implications in mind:
Oher signed a four-year, $20 million free-agent contract last offseason to come to Tennessee after starting his NFL career with the Baltimore Ravens. The deal included $9.5 million in guaranteed money.
Chris Trapasso of NFL.com alluded to how Oher has declined since a promising rookie campaign:
When Titans All-Pro tackle Michael Roos went on injured reserve last October after just five starts, Oher was tasked with helping replace him on the offensive line, but he wasn't up to snuff. He eventually finished the season on IR himself with a toe injury.
Despite injury concerns and declining play, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com feels Oher will attract interest from needy teams, with the Cleveland Browns as a potential landing spot:
Since general manager Ruston Webster took over the team in 2012, he has made it a point of emphasis to fortify the offensive trenches. He's had little success doing so, however.
Webster spent considerable money on free agents in Oher and guard Andy Levitre, in addition to using first-round picks in the past two drafts for guard Chance Warmack and tackle Taylor Lewan (who, to his credit, was named to the 2014 Pro Football Writers of America All-Rookie Team).
This latest misfire on Oher makes it all the more important for Webster and the front office to nail the No. 2 overall pick in this year's draft, fare well in the other rounds and find some key pieces in free agency.
As for Oher's future, he doesn't seem to be in great shape to start in 2015. Despite being a talented former first-round draft choice, he has underwhelmed overall in the NFL and must earn back his status as a first-string player.
But that may be just what the 28-year-old Oher needs to rediscover his edge and thrive in a new environment. Interest should be rampant given his talent level, and Oher has the potential to bounce back from his release from Tennessee.