Marcus Mariota’s time with the Titans is over thanks to Ryan Tannehill but where could he land in 2020 NFL free agency to jolt his career to life?
Where did it all go wrong for Marcus Mariota as he’s set to be available on the 2020 NFL free agency market? After paying a king’s ransom to move up in the 2015 NFL Draft, the Tennessee Titans believed they had found their franchise quarterback for the foreseeable future in Mariota.
The former Oregon Duck was accurate, mobile and a great decision-maker. After years with Jake Locker, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Zach Mettenberger running the show, the Titans sought to turn around their franchise with a new signal-caller.
For a while, it seemed as though they were right. After a mediocre rookie year, Mariota blossomed in his second season, completing 61 percent of his passes for 3,400 yards, 26 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He also ran for nearly 400 yards and scored two touchdowns on the ground.
It looked as though Mariota could grow into the next Russell Wilson, utilizing his mobility and precision passing to become a franchise quarterback. Unfortunately, the 2016 season was the peak of Mariota’s career. Despite his team’s overall success, Mariota declined as a passer, averaging 2,900 passing yards and throwing a total of 24 touchdowns to 23 interceptions over the next two seasons.
Seeing how their quarterback was struggling, the Titans traded a late-round pick to the Miami Dolphins for Ryan Tannehill last offseason as part of a contingency plan in case Mariota couldn’t improve. As it turns out, Tennessee was right to do so. Mariota started six games during the 2019 season but was benched in favor of Tannehill after a two-interception performance versus the Denver Broncos. The rest is history.
However, hope is not lost for the former first-round pick. Mariota will enter unrestricted free agency and look for a fresh start with a new franchise. We’ve seen players like Drew Brees and Tannehill have more success on their second team than their first, so there is hope that Mariota’s best seasons have yet to come.
Mariota’s ideal free agency landing spots would include teams whose quarterback situation is in flux, allowing him to potentially take on the role as successor. Whether he signs on to compete for the starting job right away or takes on a backup role at first, there should be multiple teams interested in seeing what the former No. 2 overall pick has to offer.
Let’s take a look at the five teams who would be an ideal fit for Marcus Mariota in 2020 NFL free agency.