Marcus Mariota’s time as a member of the Tennessee Titans is almost certainly near its end.
After getting benched in favor of Ryan Tannehill (who won his first start with Tennessee this past week), there’s almost no way Mariota is receiving any sort of extension from the Titans.
Almost five years after being selected with the second overall pick by Tennessee, this is it for Mariota in Nashville.
The expectation is that Mariota will seek employment elsewhere after the 2019 season. And just like that, Tennessee’s 2015 first round draft selection will no longer be relevant to the franchise.
Of course, it doesn’t have to be that way. And it shouldn’t be that way.
The Titans should do everything in their power to get something for Mariota before the NFL trade deadline on October 29. They need to mitigate their losses by at least getting a young player with some upside or a draft pick. Anything, really.
Basically, the Titans need to make a trade like we see in baseball every summer.
Any team that deals for Mariota will essentially be receiving a “rental”, so it’s unlikely he’ll fetch an impressive return (though he’d definitely be a better option for some teams than what they currently have…..looking at you Redskins and Dolphins).
But any return at all, even if it’s a late round pick (or a special teams player), is better than just letting Mariota walk and receiving nothing in return.
Now, there is one argument for keeping Mariota until the end of the season.
What if Tannehill gets hurt?
Mariota would certainly be useful at that point.
But what would the Titans really be gaining?
Tennessee’s goal this season was to go from good to great. They’ve already failed in that area. And while magical turnarounds are certainly possible (and have happened), it’s most likely not happening for the Titans this season.
Mariota might not be a very valuable asset right now, but he’s still an asset. The Titans shouldn’t just let him leave without receiving something in return. It’s just good business.
The 2019 season hasn’t went to plan for the Titans, which means it’s time for them to start planning for 2020 and beyond.
Tennessee has a good core in place. They need to continue to build on that core so they can actually go from good to great in the future.
Trading Mariota won’t guarantee that Tennessee reaches its goal, but it will at least help them in their journey to get there.
Featured image via Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports