Marcus Mariota is out of a starting job, and he could soon be headed to a new NFL team as well.
On Tuesday, the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on Twitter that the Tennessee Titans were making a quarterback change, sending Mariota to the bench in favor of veteran and former Miami Dolphins starter Ryan Tannehill. Though Mariota’s stat line looked decent enough this year — he’s completed 59.1 percent of his passes for 1,179 yards with seven touchdowns and two interceptions, good for a 91.7 passer rating — Mariota has been criticized for his poor decision-making and tendency to opt for the safer play, which leads to him taking a high number of sacks.
Mariota had already been benched on Sunday during a 16-0 loss to the 2-4 Denver Broncos, leading to speculation that the Titans may stick with Tannehill for the rest of the season.
Mariota’s benching marks a major shift as the Titans aim to keep from falling out of playoff contention less than halfway through the season, and could mark the end of the line for the former No. 2 overall pick in Tennessee. There had already been rumors that Mariota could be on the trade block. As USA Today‘s Titans Wire noted, there is rising speculation that the Titans may look to go in a new direction at quarterback after five seasons with Mariota and little to show for it.
The report suggested that if the Titans were to trade Mariota, it could be coming soon.
“The Titans need to make the decision sooner rather than later on whether or not to stick with Mariota,” the report noted. “If the Titans want to start new with a new quarterback in 2020, the Titans need to trade Mariota for some 2020 draft capital.”
The report added that the Tennessee Titans may be able to score a second-round pick for Mariota, and noted that Tennessee could find a willing trade partner in the form of the rebuilding Miami Dolphins. The report suggested that the Titans could get quarterback Josh Rosen in return, paving the way for the Dolphins to go after a franchise quarterback in the 2020 NFL Draft.
“Miami sends Rosen instead of quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick because of the contract situation. Rosen is under a first-round contract for the next two seasons, and Fitzpatrick will move on after the season,” the report speculated. “The Dolphins will then use Mariota as a spot starter until their new rookie quarterback is ready to take over the offense.”