Isaiah Wilson isn’t beginning his NFL career off on the right foot. Not in the least bit.
Wilson, the Titans’ first-round pick who is responsible for keeping Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry upright, has plenty on his mind this summer. The coronavirus pandemic forced the Titans and all NFL teams to hold off on any sanctioned on-field work until August.
As Wilson tries adjusting to the NFL, he and the Tennessee Titans have a bigger problem on their hands. One confusing and idiotic decision nearly just cost Wilson his career before it began.
The Titans drafted Isaiah Wilson with high hopes
A Second-team All-SEC selection at Georgia last year, the Tennesee Titans selected Wilson with the 29th overall pick in April’s NFL draft.
Wilson was the first offensive lineman the Titans selected in the first round since Michigan State’s Jack Conklin in 2016.
Although Wilson started two years at Georgia, some draft analysts still considered him “raw” or a “work in progress.” Wilson and Dennis Kelly are competing for the Titans’ starting right tackle job.
Wilson was reportedly caught at a house party
Before Isaiah Wilson can compete for the starting right tackle job, he may want to re-evaluate his decisions off the field.
Paul Kuharsky, a veteran Titans reporter, recently reported Wilson attended a Tennessee State University off-campus apartments. The Titans’ practice facility in Nashville, Tenn., is 3.1 miles from the party Wilson reportedly went to on August 15.
According to the police report, Wilson “got up from the couch and ran to the balcony attempting to jump from the second floor.” Wilson received a trespass warning, while TSU students received drug, curfew, and runaway violations.
Titans coach Mike Vrabel issued a statement to Kuharsky about Wilson’s actions.
“We’re aware of the situation at TSU during a no-visitors policy and continue to stress the importance of good decision making as we go outside the facility.”
Titans general manager Jon Robinson told Kuharsky the situation was handled internally.
Another Titans rookie, running back Darrynton Evans, allegedly attended the party. Evans’ agent told Kuharsky it was “categorically not Darrynton.”
Isaiah Wilson almost just ended his NFL career by being selfish
The NFL’s strict COVID-19 rules are in place for a reason. Players are tested daily and need to follow all sorts of social distancing rules, from where they eat to how they speak with the media.
Teams aren’t playing around with those who don’t listen. The Seahawks cut undrafted rookie cornerback Kemah Siverand when he tried sneaking a woman into his hotel room.
Isaiah Wilson is in a far different position than Siverand, at least with regard to the financial impact. He signed a four-year, $11.57 million rookie contract with a $5.97 million signing bonus.
The Titans almost certainly won’t cut Wilson, not after they invested a first-round pick on him. That doesn’t mean Wilson won’t escape without punishment.
According to Kuharsky, the Titans “could fine Wilson a maximum of one week’s salary or suspend him without pay for up to four weeks for conduct detrimental to the team.”
Wilson’s behavior definitely falls under detrimental conduct. What if Wilson had jumped and he’d suffered an injury? Free agent cornerback Josh Shaw suffered two high-ankle sprains when he performed the same feat in 2014 at Southern California.
Shaw famously lied and said he jumped from a third-story-feat to save his 7-year-old nephew from drowning. Shaw later told the Los Angeles Times he jumped to avoid the police because “I’m a black man with dreadlocks.”
The Tennessee Titans should be extremely concerned with Wilson going forward. A suspension would send the right message to the team — and the greater NFL — that the rules need to be followed.