Welcome to Music City Miracles’ Tennessee Titans 2023 Roster Profile! Between now and August, MCM will feature more than two dozen talents. The main goal is to highlight underrated contributors and key rotational players. We’ll throw in the odd superstar or roster-bubble player, but we’re mainly focused on spotlighting the middle of the roster. That’s where key depth helps define a roster’s ceiling.
Today, we’re analyzing cornerback Caleb Farley.
College: Virginia Tech
Entered League: No. 22 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft
Years with team: 3
“Caleb Farley signed a 4 year, $13,495,482 contract with the Tennessee Titans, including a $7,174,896 signing bonus, $13,495,482 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $3,373,871. In 2023, Farley will earn a base salary of $1,886,862, while carrying a cap hit of $3,680,586 and a dead cap value of $7,974,603.” Spotrac
It’s difficult to pinpoint any promising signs within Caleb Farley’s NFL career thus far. Just two years after striking gold by drafting the injured Jeffery Simmons, ex general manager tried his luck again by selecting the oft-injured Farley with a first-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. It’s been a disaster of epic proportions. Farley, who had multiple back and knee surgeries prior to entering the league, has since had more back and knee surgeries.
If there’s a positive to be found, it’s that found Farley is self-aware. The former Virginia Tech standout is aware that he hasn’t met expectations thus far. Perhaps a newly motivated Farley will showcase improvement in Year Three.
The injuries have been well documented. When Farley has been on the field, he’s been an inconsistent, shell-of-himself performer. It’s clear that injuries have limited Farley’s overall athleticism and confidence. Farley appeared in just nine contests as a sophomore in 2022.
It wasn’t pretty. Pro Football Focus credited Farley with allowing nine receptions on 13 targets. Farley’s deep speed was non-existent as he allowed multiple deep touchdowns despite such little playing time. Opposing quarterbacks enjoyed a near-perfect passer rating of 151.4 when targeting Farley in coverage last season. He allowed an astounding 22.7 yards per catch. Farley was essentially a touchdown waiting to happen. It made him unplayable.
Farley will likely receive one last opportunity to prove he belongs on an NFL roster. New Titans general manager Ran Carthon is unlikely to release Farley this summer despite having no personal ties to the first-round bust. Cutting Farley would actually cost the Titans $2.5 million against the 2023 cap, according to Spotrac. It’s literally cheaper to keep Farley.
But where Farley fits into the rotation is a difficult question. Kristian Fulton and Roger McCreary are firmly ahead of Farley on the depth chart. Both Sean Murphy-Bunting and Elijah Molden are also factors. Even second-year undrafted free agent Tre Avery has played better than Farley has.
Farley is likely viewed as the team’s fourth or fifth cornerback. He’ll need to showcase himself in a positive light throughout training camp and the preseason before re-climbing the depth chart.