It took Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr just three seasons to ink the richest contract in the history of the NFL. Carr’s ascension among the highest-paid players in the game was somewhat pushed along quickly due to him being a second-round pick. After all, his rookie deal was of the four-year variety.
The same can’t be said about Marcus Mariota, who the Tennessee Titans selected No. 2 overall back in 2015. Tennessee possesses a fifth-year team option on his rookie contract, which could delay extension negotiations for some time.
But if we were to ask Mariota, he doesn’t seem to be too concerned about his current contract situation after just two seasons in Nashville.
“For any athlete, anybody in professional sports, it’s out of your control. I mean, you’ve got to play well, you’ve got to do certain things, things kind of have to line up for those contracts to happen,” Mariota said, via KHON-TV in Hawaii. “I can’t think about next season or the season after that.”
This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. Mariota is a soft-spoken, team-first guy. He’s not going to look to ruffle feathers when an extension itself isn’t in the cards over the short term.
“I’ve got to focus on our first game and continue to be the best guy that I can be for the team,” Mariota continued. “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.”
One might think that Carr’s extension would place similar thoughts into the minds of Mariota and fellow 2015 first-round pick Jameis Winston. But the landscape of the league suggests that it will be a while before either one receives that huge payday. Instead, the Matthew Staffords of the world are likelier to receive their extensions before Mariota and Winston.
Mariota, 23, is coming off a 2016 campaign that saw him put up 28 total touchdowns compared to nine interceptions en route to leading the Titans to a surprising 9-7 record. Should he continue at this level, an extension will surely be in the cards at some point.