- The negotiating period for NFL free agents has begun, and already there have been blockbuster trades and contract agreements. DeForest Buckner to the Colts. DeAndre Hopkins to the Cardinals. Austin Hooper to the Browns.
But what about Marcus Mariota?
The Tennessee Titans have moved on from their 2015 No. 1 draft pick, and that’s probably for the best. The former Saint Louis School standout and Heisman Trophy winner didn’t live up to expectations in Music City. (His Best season was in 2016, his sophomore campaign, when he threw for 3,426 yards, 26 TDS and only 9 INTS.) Some of his inconsistent play was due to poor coaching. A lot of it was because of injuries. In any event, Mariota could benefit from a change of scenery.
Here are five potential landing spots for Mariota:
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: It’s still hard to imagine that Tom Brady could be wearing another NFL uniform this coming season, but if it happens, Mariota would be a suitable replacement. At 26, Mariota is just now entering his prime years as a signal-caller. He’s coachable and smart, and would benefit from being in Bill Belichick’s system. The big question: Can he withstand the pressure of replacing a legend?
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS: The Chargers have let Phillip Rivers walk out the door, and it’s doubtful they’ll be content with Tyrod Taylor at the QB helm. More importantly, this is a franchise desperate for a centerpiece player that will attract fans to their new stadium. Mariota has the charisma, looks and star quality to be just that.
LAS VEGAS RAIDERS: The Raiders are reportedly very interested in bringing in Mariota as a backup to Derek Carr. Both head coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock were very high on Mariota coming out of college. With young weapons like RB Josh Jacobs, TE Darren Waller potential draft picks Jerry Jeudy or CeeDee Lamb, Mariota wouldn’t have the pressure of carrying the entire load.
CHICAGO BEARS: “Da Bears” have long been rumored to be interested in Mariota. Then again, the team has also made overtures to Teddy Bridgewater, Andy Dalton and Nick Foles. Even if the Bears don’t intend to replace incumbent Mitch Trubisky, they certainly want to push him.
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS: Jacoby Brissett did the best he could under trying circumstances last season, but Mariota has a much higher ceiling as far as potential. He could come in and instantly compete for the starting job. Mariota would have some pieces to work with, too, including T.Y. Hilton and Marlon Mack.
*UPDATE: Marcus Mariota signs with the Las Vegas Raiders.*
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