Benched by the Titans, it appears that he has no future there. So he’d leave as a free agent in 2020, and the Titans would get a compensatory draft pick for him in 2021. Or they could dump the balance of his $20.8 million salary and get a draft pick in 2020.
Mariota has the athleticism to operate the Kansas City offense, and he has shown that he can win in Kansas City. Indeed, Mariota and the Titans beat the Chiefs in Arrowhead Stadium in the last game of Alex Smith‘s tenure with the team. The performance included 205 yards passing, 46 yards rushing, and a six-yard touchdown catch on a pass that was deflected back to him.
He’s clearly a better option than Matt Moore, who but for a 57-yard catch and run to paydirt from Tyreek Hill completed nine of 18 passes for 60 yards, an average per attempt of 3.33 yards.
Of course, coach Andy Reid can whisper any quarterback into the best version of himself, and perhaps Moore (who was out of football last year due in part to the fact that, as one source explained it to PFT, Moore’s arm was “shot”) can hold it together in Mahomes’ absence. Then again, Reid also could make Mariota into the guy he was supposed to be when drafted in 2015, but never has become.
Much of the final decision depends on how much time Mahomes will miss. If it’s more than a couple of weeks, the Chiefs need a better plan than Matt Moore and Kyle Shurmur.