One Bleacher Report writer predicts that Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota will test the free agent market and leave the team after 2019.
The 2019 season is a make-or-break one for Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota, leaving the possibility that this could be his last year in Nashville.
Mariota has had the loyal support of this fanbase since day one, and many still stick with him regardless of what has transpired in recent years. Patience is running thin, though.
Bleacher Report’s Maurice Moton believes Mariota’s fate beyond this season won’t be with the Titans, as he thinks the 25-year-old will not meet the team’s expectations in his contract year and he’ll leave via free agency as a result.
"The Titans may find success running a power ground attack that features Derrick Henry behind solid veteran left guard Rodger Saffold in the trenches, but Mariota has a tough hill to climb in his push to earn a new deal in Tennessee. He’s thrown fewer than 20 touchdown passes in three of four seasons, and he could miss that mark again in 2019.Projection: Mariota tests free agency and signs with a new team."
Marcus Mariota’s 50/50 future
Mariota’s future with the Titans remains no better than a 50/50 situation at this point. He hasn’t exactly lived up to the expectations of a No. 2 overall pick after four seasons in the league. Mariota’s health is probably the chief of the concerns surrounding him going into his fifth year.
It isn’t all Mariota’s fault, though. Aside from injuries, Mariota has seen five different offensive coordinators during his tenure and has had to deal with uneven offensive line play throughout (sacked 42 times in 2018). His receiving options have been underwhelming, also.
But all that has changed this season.
First and foremost, Mariota has attempted to address his injury issues by bulking up this offseason. That should enable him to better absorb big hits, which the team has advised he try to avoid more often by simply getting rid of the football.
The Titans have revamped their offensive line and added slot receiver Adam Humphries and second-round pick A.J. Brown to go along with former No. 5 overall pick, wideout Corey Davis. This is by far his best group of pass-catchers yet.
Combined with one of the best 1-2 punches at running back in Derrick Henry and Dion Lewis, Mariota’s supporting cast has never been better and general manager Jon Robinson deserves credit for putting his signal-caller in the best position to succeed.
Now all that’s left is for Mariota to answer the bell. He doesn’t have to carry this team with his arm thanks to a run-first offensive approach, but he does have to stay on the field and play at a higher level than in years past.
Making the playoffs will obviously go a long way to helping Mariota’s prospects in Tennessee; however his individual performance will be the end-all, be-all for the Oregon product. Even if the Titans make the playoffs despite another lackluster season from Mariota, there is still no guarantee the Titans retain him past 2019.