Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans are keeping us all in suspense
Maybe I missed it, but how much did Marcus Mariota sign with the Titans for?
— Bruce, by email
You didn't miss it — in fact, there hasn't been anything for you to miss. Mariota remains the only first-round draft pick who hasn't signed a contract with his team, even though it's less than three weeks until NFL training camps open on July 30.
The sticking point in negotiations between Mariota and the Titans is offset language, which is a kind of protection for the team if a rookie gets cut within his first four years and signs with another team. In those circumstances, offset language would allow the Titans to subtract the amount another team who signed Mariota would pay him from whatever they might owe him.
Mariota is signing his rookie contract, so that protection only applies to his first four years and a team option for a fifth season.
As Michael David Smith reported for Pro Football Talk, history seems to indicate this won't even be an issue: Brandon Weeden is the only player in the past 15 years who was cut, by Cleveland after two years, and re-signed with Dallas.
When Mariota does sign a contract, it will be a smaller amount than the No. 1 pick Jameis Winston, who, the Washington Post reported, signed his $25.4 million dollar contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the day after being drafted, with $16.7 million of that being guaranteed.
Various news outlets including the Oregonian also picked up the story first reported by endzonescore.com that Mariota wasn't signing his contract because the Titans wanted him to agree to stop surfing. Later, though, Pro Football Talk reported that a source close to the situation denied that that was an issue, and that Mariota is even a surfer.
There have been few developments with Mariota's contract since he was drafted, but keep an eye out — none of us should miss out on seeing how much more a rookie NFl quarterback will make than us over the next four years.
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