Marcus Mariota should target Los Angeles Chargers in free agency

The Los Angeles Chargers should be one of Marcus Mariota’s top targets in free agency during the offseason.

As he prepares to hit free agency, soon-to-be former Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota should be targeting the Los Angeles Chargers as a top potential landing spot.

In his fifth season in the NFL, Mariota started just six games before being replaced by fellow quarterback, Ryan Tannehill. As a result, Mariota will likely be moving on from Nashville in 2020 and will look to find a team that gives him a chance to start.

One of those teams could be the Chargers after it was announced that former franchise quarterback, Philip Rivers, would not return to the team in 2020.

For the moment, that leaves quarterback Tyrod Taylor as the team’s best starting option on the roster, and apparently Taylor is an option head coach Anthony Lynn is considering, as he shared in a recent interview with AM 570 LA Sports, per ESPN’s Eric D. Williams.

“Tyrod Taylor is a heck of a quarterback,” Lynn told AM 570 LA Sports. “We couldn’t have a better backup right now, and now he has an opportunity to maybe step up into a starting role. I’ve had Tyrod before [in Buffalo], and I know what this young man brings to the table, in the passing game and the running game.”

Now, Lynn’s comments do not guarantee that Taylor will be the starter, but they do lend to the idea that he’ll at least be competing for a starting job if the team fails to bring in a top-flight starter in free agency or through the draft.

If that’s the case, this is a competition Mariota should jump all over if the Chargers are interested in bringing him in.

Taylor’s past two stints as a starter haven’t gone well. He was the starter with the Buffalo Bills for three seasons before ultimately flaming out, and then he moved on to the Cleveland Browns where he was a starter for just three games in 2018.

Taylor spent the 2019 season as the Chargers’ backup, and despite Rivers’ well-documented struggles under center in what was a lost season for the team, Taylor never got the nod.

Not only could the Chargers have a vulnerability at quarterback that Mariota could exploit, but he’d also be closer to his home state of Hawaii and his alma mater, the University of Oregon.

Los Angeles does have a lot of question marks on the offensive side of the ball. While wide receivers like Keenan Allen and Mike Williams are under contract for 2020, running backs Austin Ekeler and Melvin Gordon, as well as tight end Hunter Henry, are all free agents.

While I wouldn’t expect Gordon to return next season, Ekeler and Henry both certainly could. If the Chargers can retain Ekeler and Henry, Mariota would have a solid supporting cast to work with.

There should be a lot of interest overall in Marcus Mariota in free agency, but landing with the Chargers might end up being the best situation for him based on the circumstances.