The most debated topic this off-season among Tennessee Titans fans has been whether or not Marcus Mariota will receive a contract extension after the 2019 season.
Mariota, who is entering the final season of his contract, has yet to truly “break out” and prove himself as an upper tier quarterback in the NFL, which is why he hasn’t been extended yet by Tennessee.
But at the same time, the Titans are clearly a better team when Mariota is on the field (as evidenced by last year’s season finale against the Indianapolis Colts).
The debate among fans will likely continue all season, but one of the most highly respected NFL analysts around already thinks he knows what the Titans will do.
John Clayton, who has covered the NFL for over 40 years (including a 22 year stint at ESPN), thinks Mariota will be a Titan for a long time.
The veteran NFL sportswriter told Titans Online recently that he believes Mariota “will be fine” and that he will receive his contract extension.
Clayton also isn’t of the opinion that reaching the playoffs will be a factor in Tennessee’s decision to extend Mariota.
I think he is going to be fine and I think he is going to get the contract extension. I guess we have to define what make-or-break is. … They still need to get the most out of him. The way Derrick Henry came on late in the season, I think that helps. He needs better blocking from the offensive line but you know how smart he is, how talented he is. … I don’t know if they can break in and make the playoffs because, if they don’t make the playoffs, it is only because Houston and Indy have done better.
A lot will depend on what transpires this upcoming season, but I tend to think Clayton is correct here. Finding an above average quarterback is not an easy task for a NFL franchise.
There will always be quarterbacks who are better than Mariota, but the odds of the Titans finding one are very low. They’d be best served to commit to Mariota and continue to build a roster that can compete in the AFC South.
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