With fines not sparking action from Vic Beasley, Titans sadly lack leverage

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vic Beasley’s been absent for a week, long enough that the story of him leaving the Titans hanging has faded from headlines. Thus, the one above.

Jon Robinson issued a statement three days after Beasley failed to report to camp in which where the GM said he’d made contact and made it clear the absence was unexcused and where he said Beasley said he “will be reporting to camp in the near future.”


(Photo courtesy Atlanta Falcons.)

Wednesday will be five days into that near future.

Presuming Beasley does choose to arrive, it will take him several days to actually gain entry into the building – like every player before him he will have to test negative for COVID-19 three times in four days before he’s allowed into team headquarters. Show Wednesday, he’s in Saturday, probably Sunday.

Let’s be clear, the chief culprit here is Beasley. He may have attended a family funeral on July 29, but he should have made a phone call ahead of that – an adult responsibility many of us handle with our bosses even in awful times.

Perhaps he’s been in regular communication with the Titans since, but it seems doubtful considering he’s not been answering his phone for others and that no word with the slightest update has leaked anywhere.

Mike Vrabel will Zoom with media Wednesday at lunchtime, and he will do beautiful work diffusing questions about Beasley, telling us as Robinson did in his statement, how he’s concerning himself only with players in the building.


It’s a convenient cliché that helps him do what he said what his mission is with regard to distractions – the Titans can’t eliminate them so they have to handle and manage them.

Don’t you think it’s difficult to be an unquestioning Titan, even as you’ve seen your bosses do generally great work?

I’d be thinking, at least occasionally, “Is this guy going to show up when he feels like, swallow the $50,000 fines while handling his finances foolishly, get eased in until he’s up to speed and then be looked at like all the rest of us when he didn’t feel compelled to show up to work on time, by at least 11 or 12 days? What about team-first, coach? Will we get to see for ourselves how you treat him after the way he’s treated the team?”

Vrabel can preach about worrying about what each guy can control, but human nature and emotions are at play too here.

Maybe the Titans have 80 saintly football players. This one better be one hell of a pass rusher. If he is, he’ll work his way past this BS and to the front of the depth chart.

But Vrabel and Robinson and Shane Bowen and his teammates will still be wondering for a good while, can I really trust him?

Or, maybe Vrabel hits Zoom Wednesday and announces Beasley is opting out, but again if he beats Todd France and Brian Ayrault’s favorite national media guys to it that would be quite an accomplishment. Beasley has until 3 p.m. CT Thursday to opt-out, COVID-concerns or not. The Titans would get $9.5 million of cap relief.

The Titans don’t have a really meaningful practice until Friday, and the game everything is built to get them ready for isn’t until Sept. 14.

Beasley’s situation will be resolved well before that one.

In the meantime, outside of the fines, what means do the Titans have to put pressure on him?

He’s got all the leverage, as ridiculous as that is, as long as he doesn't care about the money.apple icon 144x144 precomposed

The fines will hit $450,000 Wednesday.

I was told by a league source last week the fines would be washed away if he opts out. My friend Dan Graziano of ESPN had an NFL Management Council memo to teams, before things were finalized, that said a team can fine a player until he returns or opts out.

I’ve not been able to clarify that discrepancy.

But the CBA does not leave room for the Titans to decide to fine him or not to fine him: It calls for a “mandatory fine of $50,000 per day.”

Cut him and eat $9.5 million. They have to wait for him to move.

Wednesday's total will only 4.7 percent of Beasley's one-year contract. The CBA got a lot stronger on a matter like this. And still, here the Titans are. 

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