When Kendall Wright arrived in Tennessee as a 2012 first-round draft pick, he brought along lofty comparisons to Steve Smith and Santonio Holmes.
Five years later, he's saying his goodbyes after spending his final Titans game on the bench as a healthy afterthought.
"I saw the 2017 Tennessee Titans, and I am not a part of the 2017 Tennessee Titans," Wright said Monday, via the team's official website. "It is what it is. I respect everybody in the building.
"But they have something good here, and I think they'll win a lot of games. For me, I feel like it is time for me to grind."
Returning from a lingering hamstring injury that had dogged him since training camp, Wright erupted for 133 yards and a touchdown on eight receptions in Week 5. Rather than re-emerging as Marcus Mariota's No. 1 receiver the rest of the way, he faded out of the rotation, even earning a Week 14 benching for tardiness.
After recording 94 catches for 1,079 yards in a breakout 2013 season, Wright's role gradually diminished as the Titans cycled through Dowell Loggains, Ken Whisenhunt, Jason Michael and Terry Robiskie as play-callers.
"I guess I didn't fit the many systems that came through," Wright offered, per ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky.
Although coach Mike Mularkey insists the team has made no final decision on Wright's status for 2017, he offered a different theory as to the receiver's reduction in playing time: "It's not for every player, the way we do things here."
Wright delights in freelancing as the quarterback's top target whereas the Titans view him as a slot receiver in an offensive system that utilizes three-receiver sets less frequently than any other in the league.
Eager to gauge his value on the open market, Wright says he finally feels "free."
"I'll be glad to see what I can do," Wright added, "and make a team fall in love with me and go and do what I know I can do."