After watching the Oakland Raiders make Derek Carr the highest-paid player in league history, Tennessee Titans franchise quarterback Marcus Mariota says he is in absolutely no rush to worry about his contract situation.
Mariota is under contract through the 2019 season, so there are still a few more seasons to play through before Mariota’s contract will be thrown into the spotlight. Given the precedent that been set in recent seasons, it would seem likely the Titans and Mariota enter contract negotiations after the 2018 season, even if that means letting the topic linger in the headlines in the meantime.
“I can’t think about next season or the season after that,” Mariota said during an interview in Hawaii. “I’ve got to focus on our first game and continue to be the best guy that I can be for the team. If all those things happen and things go right and that contract is up, and you know, I’d love to be in Nashville and I think the Titans are such a great organization, that it would be a lot of fun to play for them for a long time.”
Carr’s contract with the Raiders was valued at $125 million over five years. Mariota, playing on his rookie contract, will earn $24 million over the course of his four-year contract unless it is renegotiated. Jameis Winston, who was selected one pick ahead of Mariota and first overall in the 2015 NFL Draft, for the sake of comparison, is earning $25 million over the course of his four-year deal, which expires at the end of the 2018 season.
Marcus Mariota ranked first among second year quarterbacks with 806 yards on passes 20+ yards downfield in 2016. pic.twitter.com/uZWxjokt0B
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) June 27, 2017
For now, Mariota is saying everything you would expect him to say at this point. He is not a controversial figure looking to start a war of words off the field, especially over contracts. Don’t count on Mariota saying much moving forward either, because it’s just not his style. All Mariota can do is to continue to develop and mature as a starting quarterback as he continues to be the main cog of the Titans offense moving forward.
In due time, Mariota will work out a new deal with the Titans, and he will cash in in a big way when that time comes. For now, the focus is just on what is directly in front of him in 2017, and that is a shot at the AFC South Division.