Marcus Mariota’s time as a member of the Tennessee Titans is drawing to a close.
Once thought to be Tennessee’s franchise quarterback, Mariota will become a free agent on March 18 and there’s a 99.9 percent chance he won’t return to Nashville (at least as a member of the Titans).
Mariota was benched in favor of Ryan Tannehill in week six by head coach Mike Vrabel. The move coincided with the turnaround of Tennessee’s season.
The former Oregon quarterback is still only 26 years old, so he still has quite a few years ahead of him in the NFL.
There’s certainly a possibility that a team in transition could sign Mariota to be their starting quarterback in 2020, though I don’t think he’ll be viewed as a long-term answer for a franchise.
I think it’s more likely that Mariota signs a short-term deal to be backup quarterback, in the hopes of becoming a starter again at some point (you know, the Nick Foles/Ryan Tannehill journey).
And I think the Kansas City Chiefs could be an ideal landing spot for Mariota.
Mariota would be the perfect backup for Patrick Mahomes, who missed two games due to injury in 2019. Andy Reid’s offense is also probably a better fit for Mariota.
The only quarterback the Chiefs have under contract in 2020 is Mahomes, so they’ll absolutely be signing a backup. They might prefer someone with a higher ceiling than Chad Henne or Matt Moore (who has been a good backup, but he’ll turn 36 before next season).
Mariota has a very small connection to the Chiefs, too. He was briefly teammates with Kansas City quarterbacks coach Mike Kafka. In 2015, Kafka spent a week on the Titans’ practice squad.
Spending a year watching Mahomes go to work and learning under Andy Reid and offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy could be beneficial for Mariota.
Of course, Mariota won’t be thinking about any of that on Sunday.
He’ll just be trying to help the Titans get to the Super Bowl any way he can.
Featured image via Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports