There is no argument about money between the Tennessee Titans and Marcus Mariota, as rookie contracts are set in stone in terms of pay. But the term ‘offset language’ comes into play and in this case there’s also the question regarding the quarterback, and if he can or cannot surf in his free time, might be holding back the deal.
Mariota, the second overall pick in the 2015 draft and last year’s Heisman trophy winner, is from Hawai’i. He’s not a pro surfer, but he loves to surf and would like to continue doing so during his time off from football. While the NFL is trying to take over the entire 12 months of the year, Mariota does have time in which he isn’t playing football, and wants to do other things he loves.
The Titans aren’t inventing anything. A lot of teams include clauses that prohibit their players from taking part in activities that could leave them injured in more than a minor way if anything goes wrong: Surfing, skiing, motorcycle riding, water skiing, skydiving or skateboarding. There are others, but that covers most of the activities you’d expect these young men to try and participate in during the offseason or even offtime.
What about offset language? The Titans, and others around the league, feel that there’s some sort of ploy by Mariota or the Eagles to try and get together, if Chip Kelly is going to last that long in Philadelphia. The offset language thing would allow the Titans to recoup some money from Mariota if he signs with another team three years from now.
Despite these snags and bumps, everyone expects Mariota to sign pretty soon. The Titans have a buzz around the franchise for the first time in years, and will probably making an aggressive push to try and get the deal done before the beginning of training camp.