Tennessee Titans: Why offset language doesn’t matter


Many teams around the NFL have gotten deals done with their franchise-tagged super-stars as we get close to the start of training camps in a couple of weeks, but the Tennessee Titans and Marcus Mariota appear to be in a stalemate.

Also At TitanSized: Tennessee Titans camp questions: Quarterback

The first order of business here is to get you up to speed on offset language, and why it has become a sticking point between Mariota his agents, and the Titans brain-trust.

Ian Rappaport fron NFL.com explains offset language:

I’ll save you a click and give you the details here.

"In a nutshell (from Rapoport): “If there is offset language, it allows the team to save money when releasing a player. Let’s say a first-rounder is due $2 million in his fourth year. If he’s released, and then agrees to a $2 million deal with a new team, the original team is completely off the hook. He receives $2 million from his new club, and the team that drafted him washes its hands of the situation. If there is no offset language, the discarded player receives the guaranteed money from his original team and the full salary from his new team. The original team can’t merely allow the new team to pay the remaining guaranteed money as part of the new deal.”"

Paul Kuharsky at ESPN reported on Tuesday that Titans interim president and CEO, Steve Underwood is concerned about the long-termed effects of making a concession with Mariota.

"“We’ve always had offset language in our player contracts. It’s nothing new,” Underwood said, via ESPN.com. “I think it is important where a high first-round draft pick is concerned, because it’s the precedent. Everything that we do is precedential for the next round of contracts.“So keeping the offset in place is something we want to be able to do going forward. And the minute you back away from the contract principle then you no longer are able to assert it going forward.”"

This scenario reminds me of a discussion I had with my 92 year-old mother back in the late 90’s. She had been concerned with some of the long-termed effects that were included with some of the meds she was taking.

I found it somewhat humorous that at the late stages of her life, she was worrying about possible problems that would be significant years after her passing.

After a five year downturn in the relevance of the Tennessee Titans, and on the heels of a 2-14 season, I don’t think Steve Underwood, Ruston Webster and Ken Whisenhunt will need to worry about future problems with offset language if they don’t get Marcus Mariota in camp.

They are concerned with a problem that may, or may not be relevent in three or four years when they more than likely will not have their jobs in the Titans front office anyway if Mariota is a bust.

Connor Orr at Around The NFL had this to say about the situation:

"It’s understandable that the Titans want to maintain a crisp legal format to the bones of their contracts, but franchise quarterbacks have always played by different rules. Cam Newton has no offset language and neither does Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III or Blake Bortles, according to league records. Precedents can work both ways. An agent won’t care what the Titans do, he’ll care what any team has gotten in that slot and at that position before."

We may well be getting an inside look at what is wrong with this franchise, and why they have become insignificant. The main job that management is tasked with, is putting an exciting product on the field every Sunday afternoon in the fall.

Without that, everything else is moot!

Next: Tennessee Titans training camp questions: Running back

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