South Rumors: Mariota, Jags, Falcons, Bucs

This season did not produce the uptick in Marcus Mariota production the Titans wanted, but part of the reason for that was the starting quarterback’s multiple injuries. Elbow troubles plagued Mariota for much of this season, but he is not expected to need offseason surgery, Terry McCormick of tweets. A nerve issue affected Mariota (11 touchdown passes, eight interceptions, 2,528 passing yards) this season and cost him a chance to help the Titans back into the playoffs, forcing Blaine Gabbert back into action in Week 17. Mariota is attached to a $20.9MM fifth-year option in 2019.

As the 2019 hiring period ignites, here’s the latest from the South divisions a

  • Dirk Koetter‘s interview for his old job as Falcons offensive coordinator will occur Saturday, Vaughn McClure of reports. The Falcons’ OC from 2012-14, Koetter is a free agent again after being fired by the Buccaneers. He may well be the leading candidate to succeed Steve Sarkisian running Atlanta’s offense. Matt Ryan has praised Koetter in the recent past. Mike Mularkey, Atlanta’s OC from 2008-11, and Darrell Bevell are the other known candidates.
  • The Jaguars voided the $7.1MM in remaining guarantees in Leonard Fournette‘s rookie contract. He has 50 days to file a grievance, and Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk notes Fournette surely will. Florio argues the contract does not include language addressing the voiding of guarantees for on-field misconduct, and such an omission will be key for the former top-five pick keeping those guarantees in his four-year deal.
  • Although the Jets are believed to be ready to make a run at Le’Veon Bell, Albert Breer of does not see that pursuit winning out. Instead, Breer said during an interview with Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd (via the Tampa Bay Times) the Buccaneers are his best guess as to who will be signing the running back’s checks in 2019. This would be interesting because of the Jets’ cap-space advantage ($106MM-plus to $17MM-plus, though the Bucs can clear a substantial amount of room without incurring dead money) and the fact Tampa Bay used a 2018 second-round pick on Ronald Jones.
  • Kyle Allen was not the first player summoned to action when Cam Newton was shut down, but he ended the season as the Panthers‘ quarterback. His short stay as the Panthers’ first-stringer earned him a legitimate chance to be Newton’s backup next season, Breer notes. Allen was a UDFA but came to college as a five-star recruit. He threw two touchdown passes and no interceptions in Carolina’s season-finale win over New Orleans.
  • Alex Okafor stood to miss a $400K bonus because he fell one sack short of the incentive’s five-sack threshold, but, interestingly, the Saints paid him the bonus anyway, per’s Luke Johnson. This could be a key component of the starting defensive end’s upcoming decision on whether or not to opt out of his contract. Okafor signed a two-year deal with a player option to stay in New Orleans and has until the final day of the 2018 league year to decide on the option.
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11 comments on “South Rumors: Mariota, Jags, Falcons, Bucs

  1. JJB0811

    So much for the enthusiasm that Shad brought to Jax. His Jags have 1 division title and about 6 3rd or 4th finishes in the south standings.

  2. bradthebluefish

    Bucs have a good offense. It is their defense that is in need of serious help.

  3. bradthebluefish

    Mariota is no longer starter worthy given all his injuries. The most games he’s started in a season is 15 games. The least is 12.

    How can you count on this guy? 4 years and misses 6% to 25% of the games. Awful.

    • Phattey

      Mariota is a great QB problem is that he has no one to throw the ball to so he has to hold onto it which leads to him getting drilled and hurt

      • James Richardson

        Exactly!! It’s crazy and irritating that alot of people are putting Mariota down, even socalled Titans fans. I try to point out what a great job he actually did this season despite dealing with a numb throwing hand for most the season and no run game the first 75% of the season. The guy is the reason the Titans have had winning records in 3 straight seasons, something no other QB has ever done for the Titans. Even beat up and missing his top 2 receivers from last year he still showed how clutch he is, when the moment gets bigger the better he is. He is the main reason why they win as you can see when he doesnt play. He makes the offense and the others around him better, he leads by example, first one in to train and the last one out. What more could these people ask of him?

    • James Richardson

      That’s not even close to true. First off he started 14 games this season. Youre acting like his injuries this season were unrelated, When in truth they were re-injuries, and they happened because as he always does if he can at all possible plays through injuries. Youre kind of missing the point, has he missed more games than you’d hope? Yes but it also shows just the opposite, it makes the numbers and wins he’s put up all the more impressive. Despite not being able to feel his throwing hand (a QB’s most important body part) for almost the entire season and yet actually played well, the only people who put him down and think he didnt play well are those who didnt bother to watch all his games. He set career highs or near career highs in multiple categories despite the debilitating inury. The Titans have finished with a winning record for 3 straight seasons. Something no other Titan QB has been able to do and guess who the QB was leading them to those wins. He has one of the largest point differentials for any QB versus when the backups play with a difference of 10 pts (meaning hes worth an extra 10 points a game for his team. Not to mention he’s the most clutch QB in the NFL leading the league in game winning drives in 2017 and tied for the most GWD since 2017. Yeah that definitely sounds like a starter to me. Did you not see him in the playoffs? What he can do when he’s healthy. What’s most impressive is he played so well this season despite everything that could go wrong did go wrong. Despite not having both his #1 & #2 favorite targets all season, running for his life behind an offensive line that gave up way to many sacks and pressures, with basically no run game to loosen up coverage the first 75% of the season and yet he managed to complete 69% of his passes (shattering his previous best) of This offseason will mark the first time he hasnt had to spend all offseason learning an all new offense. So moral of the story it would be stupid not to keep and start him and luckily Jon Robinson isnt stupid. Mariota puts it all out there every time and his teammates love him for it. We got a taste of how good he is during the 5 week stretch that he was healthiest throwing for 2 TD’s in 4 of the 5 games (more than he had all last season)

  4. brewcrewbernie

    Amazing that Mariota and Winston have to be considered busts but the league has such a lack of QB talent they’ll both be paid $21m next season because there’s no clear better option.

    • crosseyedlemon

      Busts are guys like Manziel and Hackenberg. Mariota and Winston will never live up to the hype that surrounded them when they were drafted but they are not busts.

    • James Richardson

      Busts? Mariota? lol (lol in a bad way). Sorry bud but QB’s who lead their teams to 3 straight winning seasons plus winning a playoff game aren’t bust. When healthy the Titans have one of the better QB’s in the league. Hmmm… the most clutch QB in the league more Game winning drives since 2017 almost every other QB (tied for most).

  5. PeterDipersio

    I wouldn’t touch leveon Bell! There’s no telling if he would do this again in the last year of his contract with another team

    • Steezy

      More than likely he won’t have guaranteed money in the last year of his deal and won’t play that year out like most nfl players on big contracts

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