Marcus Mariota playing quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons. He has since signed to play quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles. Nov 27, 2022; Landover, Maryland, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Marcus Mariota (1) gestures at the line of scrimmage against the Washington Commanders at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

In the 2015 NFL Draft, then-coach Chip Kelly and the Philadelphia Eagles tried to trade up from the No. 20 overall pick to the No. 2 selection held by the Tennessee Titans. Kelly wanted to be reunited with his 2012 Oregon Ducks quarterback, Marcus Mariota. Instead, the Titans kept the pick and took Mariota themselves.

Well, while Kelly — now the UCLA head coach — is no longer with Philadelphia, the Eagles have finally landed Mariota after all.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports early on Friday morning that the Eagles have agreed to a one-year, $5 million contract with Mariota. The deal is worth up to $8 million, according to Schefter.

Jalen Hurts has the starting quarterback position locked down in Philadelphia after a brilliant third season that saw him finish second in NFL MVP voting and resulted in a trip to the Super Bowl.

So, Mariota won’t be a threat to be that job. But if Hurts were to, well, get hurt, Mariota offers an excellent backup option that should allow the Eagles hang in there (and in an NFC conference where the quarterback play looks bleak).

Mariota — who turns 30 in October — started 13 games for the Atlanta Falcons in 2022. He put together a 5-8 record while throwing 15 touchdown, nine interceptions, and tallying an 88.2 passer rating. He also ran for 438 yards (5.2 yards per carry) and four touchdowns. The dual-threat ability surely was an enticing trait for Philadelphia in terms of finding a similar style to Hurts.

In Mariota’s career, he’s played 87 games (starting 74 of those), thrown for 92 touchdowns, 54 interceptions, and put together an 89.3 passer rating. He’s also run for 17 touchdowns and 5.8 yards per carry.

Mariota was the Titans’ starting quarterback for five seasons, then made a two-year stop with the Las Vegas Raiders as a backup quarterback, and then got another chance to be a starter in 2022 with Atlanta.

While Mariota may have wanted to find a starting gig this offseason, Philadelphia offers the chance for him to chase a ring and potentially get another starting opportunity next offseason if things go smoothly.

The news comes just hours after quarterback Gardner Minshew left the Eagles to sign with the Indianapolis Colts.

NFL fans have had plenty to say about Mariota signing with the Eagles.

Brenden Deeg of theScore tweets, “Marcus Mariota was the best option on the market for the Eagles to back up Jalen Hurts. Howie and Lurie have always valued the backup quarterback role, and relying on a rookie is risky. Mariota can run the same offense they do for Hurts and has starting experience.”

Fox Sports’ Emmanuel Acho tweets, “Story Time: In 2015 Chip traded future SB MVP Nick Foles for Sam Bradford, hoping to trade Bradford to the Titans to draft his former Heisman winning college QB, Marcus Mariota. Chip told us in a team meeting, “Bradford isn’t a chess piece, I’m the only “Chip” in the building.” The draft came around & rumors circled that Chip was shopping Fletcher Cox + Bradford for the #2 pick. Well, 8 yrs and a Super Bowl later, the Eagles got Mariota!”

Eagles writer Andrew DiCecco of Inside The Birds tweets, “Fun fact: Marcus Mariota played under current #Eagles TEs coach — then Titans’ offensive coordinator — Jason Michael for two seasons (2014-15). Michael also served as Mariota’s position coach (2016-17).”

Mariota won the Heisman Trophy at Oregon in 2014. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected Jameis Winston ahead of him with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 draft.

[Adam Schefter]

About Matt Clapp

Matt is an editor at The Comeback. He attended Colorado State University, wishes he was Saved by the Bell's Zack Morris, and idolizes Larry David. And loves pizza and dogs because obviously.

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