Marcus Mariota likely played his last game in a Tennessee Titans uniform on Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs.
It was an unceremonious ending for a player who was at one time considered to be the franchise’s longterm answer at quarterback.
Mariota lost his starting job to Ryan Tannehill after the Titans sputtered to a 2-4 start.
While Mariota was undoubtedly disappointed to lose his starting job, he was happy for Tannehill and the opportunity the former Miami Dolphins quarterback received.
Listen to what Mariota told Tannehill as the Titans came up one game short of the Super Bowl.
— Inside the NFL (@insidetheNFL) January 21, 2020
That’s the definition of selflessness.
Tannehill is set to be a free agent in March. His future has yet to be determined. But there’s a strong possibility the Titans bring him back as their starting quarterback in 2020. Tannehill has a decent idea of what his future holds (a sizable contract as a starting quarterback somewhere).
Mariota, on the other hand, has no clue what his future holds. He has no idea where he’ll be playing next year or what role he’ll have. Mariota has a long off-season of uncertainty ahead of him.
Yet in the final moments of his Titan career, he wasn’t thinking about any of that. Instead, he was lifting up the man that took his starting job.
You can say what you want about Mariota’s on-the-field performance. He wasn’t able to take the Titans’ offense to the next level. No one disputes that.
But no one can ever say anything bad about Mariota as a person.
At the end of the day, character is more important than anything that can be done on the field.
Mariota might not be a Pro-Bowl quarterback, but he should be a role model to every kid who plays sports.
Featured image via Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports