What the Tennessee Titans would have to do before a Marcus Mariota trade.
There are so many quarterbacks dropping like flies, that it is easy to see why a general manager for a contending team would want a young experienced QB like former Tennessee Titans starter, Marcus Mariota in the fold.
Obviously there are about 20 quarterbacks in the NFL that are solid starters or better who earned their jobs. However, for the other 12 teams (and including some of those 20 depending on if they are dealing with a short term injury) it is easy to see why someone who was loved pre-draft like Marcus Mariota would be enticing.
However, what is going to keep him off of some team’s boards completely is his salary.
While the Tennessee Titans would gain $0 in cap space if they were to cut him, they would actually save about $21 million in salary cap if they traded him according to Over the Cap.
As you can see, it is going to be hard to convince teams that Marcus Mariota is their ideal backup/spot-starter if they are going to have to pay $21million for him.
So, what the Tennessee Titans would have to do is renegotiate Marcus Mariota’s deal make Tennessee responsible for that money.
I am not a contract lawyer so I don’t know exactly how that would have to be phrased.
If that can’t happen, then the Titans have to find a way to make it a “net-zero” transaction. Again, I don’t know if the commissioner would object to this, but it is hard to argue that he would given his general inactivity in trade activity even when it skirts the line (see Brock Osweiler and the Houston Texans trade).
So, to do that they would need to find a player or two with bad contracts that the Tennessee Titans would be willing to take on. Most likely Jon Robinson would only do this if those deals expired after this year and that is something that the other front office would have to handle.
Essentially, if the Titans aren’t allowed to restructure Mariota’s contract to prevent a potential trade from costing another team $21 million in cap space, it is going to be very hard to figure out how to make that work.
If they can, or if they can find players on that roster who don’t have a future in their organization but have big cap numbers, then that would work too.
With weeks before the NFL trade deadline, there is still plenty of time to talk to other teams and figure out possible solutions but there is no reason for the Titans to let Marcus Mariota just waste a season on a bench when he may have some trade value that will help you build your team after this season.