The Tennessee Titans made it perfectly clear when they selected him with the 22nd choice in the NFL Draft that they had no concerns about Caleb Farley’s health.
Thursday, they made it a little clearer.
The Titans and their most recent first-round pick have agreed to terms on a four-year, $13.495 million contract that, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, is fully guaranteed. As with all first-round selections, the deal includes a club option for a fifth season.
Farley, a cornerback out of Virginia Tech, played just 23 games in his college career. He missed one full season due to a knee injury and elected to sit out the 2020 campaign because of concerns related to COVID-19. Since he played his last college football game, he has had two back surgeries, the second of which was in March and will limit his availability during the early part of the offseason.
“Our medical staff they’ve dealt with a lot of injuries in the National Football League, and they feel confident in (his back),” general manager Jon Robinson said the day Farley was selected. “We spoke to him several times and said he was feeling great after having the latest procedure, and I have the utmost confidence he’s going to attack the process to get himself ready as soon as possible.
“… I’ve had follow-up conversations with our medical team several times about Caleb (Farley) because we had such an affinity for him, and again, just excited that he was there, and we were able to pick him.”
Farley is the first member of the Titans’ 2021 draft class to settle on contract terms and is a reversal from a year ago, when first-round choice Isaiah Wilson was the last of their draft picks to complete negotiations. Wilson’s deal, which was worth $11.57 million, was not completed until after the start of training camp and only a little more than half of it was guaranteed.
The hope is that Farley’s career, likewise, will be the exact opposite of Wilson’s. Last year’s first-round pick played one game as a rookie and later was released for a variety of off-the-field missteps.
Farley said he plans to be cleared for full activity by the start of training camp. If so, his contract ensures that he will be on the field for the first practice.
“I knew I was going to be playing football this year, so I was excited and patient,” Farley said on draft day. “I didn't set any expectations, and I let it play out how it was going to play out, and it was amazing. I couldn't ask for a better experience, and I'm so thankful to be a Tennessee Titan.”