This isn't what the Tennessee Titans envisioned when they signed Vic Beasley this offseason. The veteran pass rusher joined the club on a one-year deal in March designed to essentially be a prove-it contract, but still comes equipped with a $9.5 million cap hit. The financial commitment hints strongly at head coach Mike Vrabel's plan, which is for Beasley to be a major part of the defensive plan in 2020, but the 28-year-old is currently nowhere to be found as training camp starts up in Nashville. Veterans began reporting for testing on July 28 and Beasley was a no show, forcing the team to place him on the Did Not Report/Reserve list.
He was again absent on Day 2, and reportedly had not communicated with the Titans the reason(s) for not being present, be it a possible COVID-19 opt-out or otherwise.
As it stands, because of both his absence and no explanation as to why, the Titans could reportedly begin fining Beasley for each day he hasn't and does not report, as part of the new COVID-19 protocol agreement between the NFLPA and the league; per Dan Graziano of ESPN. To date, Beasley has not joined the list of players who've notified their respective team of an opt out and now, even if he does, he's subject to a fine for the days he missed before he made his intentions clear. Either way, his engagement to the Titans is already rocky, following a divorce from the Atlanta Falcons that was also.
On Thusday, Titans general manager Jon Robinson weighed in on the matter.
"On Tuesday July 28th, we placed Vic Beasley on the Reserve Did Not Report list," he said. "I have been in contact with Vic. He is not here [and] he understands his absence is unexcused. He told me he will be reporting to camp in the near future. Our current focus is on the players that are here now, getting everyone acclimated to the protocols, our building, and our football program.
"We will have the same acclimation process with Vic when he reports."
A former first-round pick of the Falcons in 2015, Beasley went on to become a premier pass rusher in Year 2 when he delivered a career-best 15.5 sacks on the season, along with six forced fumbles. His numbers rapidly declined from there but he'd average six sacks over the next three campaigns, including having seen the Falcons exercise his fifth-year option for 2019, but a long-term deal between the two wasn't in the cards. The Falcons announced they would not re-sign Beasley, thrusting him into free agency where he'd draw the interest, and commitment, of the Titans.
"I'm not going to comment on what was done or what wasn't done in Atlanta," Vrabel said in April of Beasley, via ESPN. "Our job is to have the vision for the player and coach him and hold him to a standard that's expected of our players. That's what I'll do, that's what [outside linebackers coach] Shane [Bowen] will do, that's what [defensive assistant] Matt Edwards will do.
"There will be a lot of people involved in helping him continue to develop and try to find a role for us and ultimately help us win."
Vrabel, although exhausted with having to field continued questions about the team's interest in Jadeveon Clowney, noted in June that a possible addition of Clowney would only make the defense .
"You've got [Harold) Landry, you've got [Vic] Beasley, you've got Clowney -- hypothetically -- you've got Jeffery Simmons, you've got DaQuan [Jones], who's got some power rush," Robinson pointed out. "You've got [Kamalei] Correa, who goes 100 miles an hour. You've got a lot of different pieces that you can move around. And you've got athleticism with Landry, with Beasley, with Correa -- you can drop those guys into coverage and send David Long, Rashaan Evans, Jayon Brown or whoever it might be.
"It just gives you a lot of chess pieces in that game."
As he and the Titans now work to figure out if they'll have Beasley on the field in 2020, the interest in Clowney might now kick into high gear.