Tennessee Titans won’t budge in contract talks with Marcus Mariota


The Tennessee Titans will enter camp with a revamped roster, no stars holding out for new deals and reason to believe that the upcoming season will be a much better than 2014. However, there’s still one wrinkle that has yet to be fixed.

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Second-overall pick Marcus Mariota remains unsigned. He’s the only first-round pick in the NFL that is currently without a contract, and that stems from an unwillingness from both his representation and the Titans to budge about their positions on potential offset language in a contract.

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Basically what that means is Mariota’s representation wants a deal that would allow the rookie quarterback to continue collecting money from his deal with Tennessee in the event that he were ever to be released and picked up by a new team. The Titans, however, have stated that they have a club policy of writing contracts so that, in the event that a player was to join a new club after being cut, he would thus forfeit the remaining pay he was owed in his previous deal with Tennessee.

“We’ve always had offset language in our player contracts,” Titans CEO Steve Underwood told ESPN’s Paul Kuharsky. “It’s nothing new. I think it is important where a high first-round draft pick is concerned, because it’s the precedent. Everything that we do is precedential for the next round of contracts.”

Underwood also stated that his team isn’t interested in forfeiting their stance in order to get their potential starting quarterback into training camp on time.

“Whatever you do echoes into eternity with player contracts,” Underwood said. “We just can’t afford to take a step back, at least this early in the process. We’re still a couple of weeks away from training camp.”

The Titans report to camp on July 30, with official practices starting on the 31st. With Mariota impressing early on, coaches and players alike are likely pulling for the two parties to strike a deal sooner rather than later.

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