In the 2015 NFL Draft, Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota were respectively picked No. 1 and No. 2, giving the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tennessee Titans immediate help at the quarterback position. But with neither young signal-caller living up to most expectations thus far, could both of them find themselves on the same team at some point in the near future?
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Mariota’s time as the Titans’ starting quarterback appears to have ended, following the team’s 16-0 loss to the Denver Broncos on Sunday, where he was benched in favor of erstwhile second-stringer Ryan Tannehill. This came just weeks after rumors suggested that the 25-year-old former Oregon Ducks star may soon be traded, with the Miami Dolphins specifically mentioned as one team that could benefit from his services. However, the Dolphins might not be the only potential destination for Mariota, as Heavy reported on Wednesday that “several” other teams, including the Buccaneers, could use someone like him behind center.
Although no hypothetical trade packages were brought up, Heavy predicted that Winston’s inconsistent play at quarterback might soon force Tampa Bay head coach Bruce Arians to consider replacing him with a less turnover-prone signal-caller. The publication cited Winston’s disappointing play in the Bucs’ Week 6 loss against the Carolina Panthers as one factor that could make them give Mariota a “good hard look” as a trade target.
Despite Winston’s performance on Sunday, which saw him get intercepted five times, Arians has no immediate plans of benching his starting quarterback, though he told ESPN that it will “concern the hell out of [him]” if the Florida State product has another similarly bad game. In his first five games this season before the loss to Carolina, the 25-year-old Winston played solidly overall, throwing nine touchdown passes and only two picks.
As for Mariota, he posted similarly decent numbers on paper prior to his benching, as he currently has a total of 1,179 passing yards, seven touchdowns, and two interceptions, good for a QB rating of 91.7 this season. However, he has also received a lot of flak for his subpar intangibles, with his perceived lack of decision-making skills and tendency to play it safe oftentimes blamed for his lack of progress in five NFL seasons.
Aside from the Buccaneers, Heavy mentioned four other teams as possible destinations for Mariota, including the Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Washington Redskins. While all these teams have also had their share of issues behind center in the 2019 season, the publication mainly suggested Mariota as a short-term solution for their quarterback woes.