Time to start talking numbers.
For me, after looking at an initial comparison to a franchise quarterback, I think this warrants pumping the brakes on the notion we need to automatically get rid of Mariota.
Granted, this can all be a moot point if he doesn’t stay healthy and play all 16 games this year. So moving forward and trying to gain more perspective by stepping out the Tennessee Titans franchise for comparisons, let’s take a look at recent quarterbacks and what they have done to earn a second contract.
Some have done more, some have done less than Marcus, but Marcus is continually chastised for his play. So I want to look at three quarterbacks who got second contracts where a couple were justified at the time, and one while I understand it, is still surprising that he got paid when he hasn’t played a full season.
Joe Flacco: (6 yr/ $120.6)
Games Started: 64
Games Missed: 0
Passing Touchdowns: 80
Passing Yards: 13,816
Completion %: 60.825
Passing Attempts: 1,958
Passes Completed: 1,190
Rushing Yards: 408
Rushing TDs: 4
Overall Record: 44-20
Playoff Games: 9
Playoff Record: 5-4
SB Appearances: 0
I will try to break these down one by one. So this isn’t apples to apples, and it’s really difficult to find an exact fair comparison, so yes Marcus has the clear athletic advantage so I won’t compare the obvious rushing disparity.
I think one thing is clear and that is Flacco was on good teams from the start, his overall record and being in the playoffs every year was evident of that, especially without elite stats.
Another thing that makes it probably easy to justify that Flacco was their franchise QB, he never missed a game in his first 4 years. With Flacco having about a full seasons worth of attempts (353) more than Mariota he only had about 1,800 yards more than Mariota while doing it less efficiently with a worse completion percentage and rating.
Another thing to point out is that Marcus was a little bit more clutch with 3 more 4QC and 1 more GWD. It’s a pro and a con because that means Marcus was on worse teams, but also good because it shows you can trust him with the game on the line.
Also forgot to mention Joe had the same HC and OC for his first four years to be able to learn and grow. So what are we looking at here…. well, Joe was durable, on a good team that could carry him and compliment his game as he grew as a quarterback, but ultimately the reason he got paid was because of his 5th year where he won the Superbowl on an epic playoff performance not throwing one INT.
With Marcus missing 9 games, but still being more clutch, more efficient, more dynamic, I don’t think it’s necessary for him to win a Superbowl to get a second contract, but stay healthy, have a more productive year than the last 2, and make a playoff appearance and he should earn a second contract.