Marcus Mariota, QB
Marcus Mariota’s situation is well known: he’s in a prove-it year after four seasons of up-and-down play and health issues. The Oregon product’s future is very much up in the air as he enters a contract year.
This isn’t a situation that will be resolved before the start of the 2019 campaign. Mariota must prove to the Tennessee Titans he is a franchise quarterback capable of staying healthy for 16 games or else he could be looking elsewhere for employment in 2020.
Simply making the playoffs won’t be enough. Mariota’s individual performance will make or break his chances of getting a new deal in Tennessee, but of course his success on the field should be the difference between Tennessee making the playoffs or finishing 9-7—or worse—once again.
Things are looking up for him, though. Robinson has provided Mariota with some extra weapons in the passing game this offseason and has done everything possible to fix the offense line.
As far as market value goes, Sportrac has it at an average salary of $22.6 million, slightly above the $20.6 million the 25-year-old is set to rake in this season. As we’ve seen in years past, new quarterback deals tend to be hefty and/or record-breaking, so Mariota will get paid handsomely if he can get the job done.
I can’t stress enough how Mariota’s issues during his career aren’t all his fault, but he certainly does own some of the blame. Regardless, there’s no more excuses after this season. Mariota has got to perform at a higher level than he ever has in his career, otherwise the Titans will be searching for a different solution at the quarterback position.