The Titans problem wasn’t Marcus Mariota…it’s thinking Ryan Tannehill is worth $118M

Russell Wilson, Ben Roethlisberger, Aaron Rodgers, Jared Goff, Carson Wentz, Matt Ryan… and Ryan Tannehill.

Those are the seven highest-paid quarterbacks in the league, but one of those seven doesn’t belong…

Six of those quarterbacks have played in a Super Bowl. Four have won a Super Bowl. Two have been named league MVP.

Between them, they have appeared on the yearly list of the Top-100 players in the league 35 times.

However, of those seven players, there is only one that hasn’t accomplished any on the feats listed above. That’s Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill. 

But, the seven do have something in common, they all make bank.

The Titans have reportedly agreed to a 4 year/$118M deal with Tannehill, making him the seventh highest-paid quarterback in the league.

The Titans gave up on former Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota midway through the season, giving the keys to the car to Tannehill, instead. 

Yes, while Tannehill was under center, the Titans turned their season around and was QB1 for an incredible playoff run where Tennessee came just one win away from playing in the Super Bowl. 

But, it wasn’t really Tannehill that led that charge. 

Over three playoff games he passed for a total of 369 yards and five touchdowns. 209 of those yards came in the AFC Championship game against the Chiefs. The other two games, he passed for fewer than 100 yards. 

What he did excel at was handing the ball off to the tank known as Derrick Henry

Henry rushed for 446 yards in the playoffs, averaging 5.7 yards per carry.

He started the regular season slow, rushing for 100 or more yards just once in the team’s first nine games. However, over his last six games he rushed for 100 or more yards five times. 

Coincidently, the Titans went 5-1 over those six games, the only loss being Week 15 when Henry rushed for just 86 yards. The team also just so happened to lose in Week 16 against the Saints, a game in which Henry did not play. 

On the season, including the playoffs,  the Titans were 8-0 when Henry eclipsed the 100-yard mark and 3-7 when he did not.

This issue was never Mariota.

The answer was never Tannehill.

The Titans’ entire season hinged on the performances of Derrick Henry. 

Had Mariota been the one handing the ball off the Henry when the running back flipped the switch, he might be the one getting paid. 

Instead, Mariota finds himself on the free-agent market, likely to end up taking a backup quarterback role with whichever team he eventually signs with.

Fans are hoping that once Mariota finds his new home he also finds a chance to resurrect his career. 

So where will the former No. 2 overall pick land?

Rumors are swirling, but at this point it seems like there are three logical landings spots: Las Vegas, New England, and Chicago. 

Two of those scenarios allow him to be the backup with a legitimate chance to win the starting the job, while the other could set him up to be Tom Brady‘s successor or the starter if Brady signs elsewhere. 

In Chicago, he would have a realistic chance to beat out Mitch Trubisky who has been underwhelming in his time with the Bears. He would at least give the Bears a reliable backup, something they haven’t had in years. 

In Las Vegas, he would be there to challenge Derek Carr. His breathing down Carr’s neck could be the perfect recipe to ignite Carr, who has been solid but not great with the Raiders.

In New England, he has a chance to be another classic Bill Belichick reclamation protect. The Patriot’s coach has a way of turning other team’s trash into his treasure. Should Tom Brady re-sign with the Pats, Mariota could spend a season or two learning from the G.O.A.T, which could do wonders for Mariot’s career.

No matter where he signs, the good thing for Mariota is that he can get a fresh start and sometimes that is all a player needs.

Heck, it worked for Tannehill… or at least it worked for his pocketbook. 

The Titans problem wasn’t Marcus Mariota…it’s thinking Ryan Tannehill is worth $118M originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest