One of the biggest pre-draft rumors was talk of the Tennessee Titans trading away their number two overall pick to the San Diego Chargers, for their franchise quarterback Philip Rivers.
Titans fans, still reeling from a ten game losing streak, salivated over the potential trade. Rivers would not only bring his top ten qb talents to Nashville, but also credibility to an otherwise nameless franchise.
We will never know how close the two teams came to making the deal in April, but if the last 48 hours are any indication, I’m sure that the Titans are glad they didn’t.
Marcus Mariota showed incredible resolve in his preseason debut Friday night. He remained poised after a disastrous start, settled down, and began to run the offense with a smoothness befitting his laid back surfer-boy persona.
The coaches, the fans, the entire organization came away from that performance feeling good about the pick…and the future of the team.
While Rivers was his usually efficient 2/2 with a touchdown in his preseason opener last Thursday, it was what he did last night that causes us to revisit the trade that didn’t happen.
San Diego signed Rivers to a four year extension worth $83.25 million, with $65 million guaranteed…the most guaranteed money of any player in the league.
65 million dollars….
Rivers, who was in the final year of his current deal, would have had to negotiate this extension with the Titans if they brought him on board. Presumably before making the trade, for fear of losing him after the season.
Would it have really been worth it to tie up that kind of money with one player, who is 33 years old? With so many holes to fill elsewhere?
A hefty price to pay for a little name recognition.
Meanwhile, Marcus Mariota has brought the team all the name recognition it needs…and then some. And he’s doing it under a team friendly rookie deal worth $24.2 million guaranteed. That gives Tennessee the financial flexibility to build around Mariota over the life of his contract.
Besides, if the Titans were fighting Mariota’s camp tooth and nail over $700,000 in offset language, then imagine them trying to extend a deal like Rivers’.
Ok…too soon. I digress.
Both teams come out of this with their qb, so there are certainly no losers here. Looks like this no-call was a good call.
Sometimes…it’s what doesn’t happen that’s the blessing in disguise.