Wake-Up Call: Making Sense Of the Mariota Noise

Robert Hanashiro / USA Today

Robert Hanashiro / USA Today

Today’s question is from reader Ed, but his email was rather lengthy, so I’m going to simply include his hypothetical trade proposal and paraphrase a bit:

Per NFL.com, the Titans’ top three needs are QB, pass-rusher and CB. Chip Kelly can satisfy all three. The trade… 

Tennessee gets:
QB Sam Bradford
DE Vinny Curry (pass rusher)
CB Brandon Boykin
Eagles 2015 first-round pick (No. 20)
Eagles 2015 second-round pick (No. 52)
(If necessary to change to, or add: ILB Mychal Kendricks – or – Eagles 2016 first-round pick)

Eagles get:
2015 first-round pick (No. 2) and draft Marcus Mariota.

There have been quite a few Mariota-related reports in recent days, so let’s sort through them and then address the hypothetical trade proposal.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports that the Browns have real interest in trading up for Mariota. I can believe this one. The Browns were interested in Bradford, meaning they are in desperate need for quarterback help. They also have ammo – two first-round picks (Nos. 12 and 19). It would not surprise me at all if the Browns made a move up to get Mariota.

There’s also been a lot of buzz that the Chargers are doing their due diligence on Mariota. San Diego has the 17th pick, but it also has something other suitors do not: a franchise QB to offer up. If the Chargers’ interest in Mariota is real, and they’re willing to include Philip Rivers in a potential deal, that’s a package that could certainly interest the Tennessee Titans at No. 2. Rivers is 33, but still playing at a very high level. And he’s entering the final year of his contract.

Meanwhile, if you are still holding out hope for Mariota in an Eagles uniform, perhaps you’ll be encouraged by this report from Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports. A personnel man suggested to Robinson that Mariota could take an Aaron Rogers-like fall on draft night.

My thoughts? Highly unlikely. He’s too good of a prospect, and there are too many QB-needy teams for that to happen. But I’ve been wrong before.

Let’s tie it all back into the original trade proposal and the Eagles. I asked Ken Whisenhunt about Bradford at the owners meetings, and he spoke glowingly about the former No. 1 pick. There’s documented evidence that Whisenhunt was at one point a fan of Bradford’s. But there’s no telling whether he still considers Bradford a viable option.

Boykin and Curry are very good players who have seen their effectiveness limited because of scheme. Kendricks seems capable of playing in any scheme. If I’m the Titans, and the Eagles offered me a couple of those players, the No. 20 pick, the N0. 52 pick and next year’s first, I would absolutely consider it, especially if I wasn’t sold on Mariota. The Titans’ roster is in bad shape, and they have a chance to acquire some very good building blocks.

But the question is whether that proposal would be better than what other teams like Cleveland and Tennessee can offer. Don’t forget, Boykin, Kendricks and Curry are all on the final years of their contracts. Rookies get locked into four-year deals, so 2015 draft picks could end up proving to be more valuable.

I’ve been pretty consistent with my stance here. I think Kelly will explore any and all options to acquire Mariota. I think he will be willing to pay a hefty price. And I think the Titans will definitely listen to offers.

I just don’t know if the Eagles will be able to get something done, given all the variables. And I don’t think Mariota’s going to slip. If Kelly wants him, I think he’ll have to get to No. 2.

As friend of the blog Sam Lynch noted, only 20 days until Mariota Madness is resolved – for 10 months, that is.


Do you have a Wake-Up Call question? Tweet (@Tim_McManus, @SheilKapadia) or e-mail (tmcmanus@phillymag.com, skapadia@phillymag.com) us. You can also post it to our Facebook page.

All readers who submit a question are eligible to win a free Birds 24/7 t-shirt. We’ll hand one out each month, and if you want to buy one for yourself, click here.


Our Draft Daily piece zeroed in on Central Florida WR Brashad Perriman.

Here is the preseason schedule that was released yesterday.

Draft buzz: We’ve got the latest mock draft roundup.

T-Mac takes a shot with a three-round Eagles mock.


We would like to use this space today to pay our respects to Philadelphia sportswriting legend Stan Hochman, who passed away Thursday at the age of 86. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family from me and Tim.

From Daily News managing editor Pat McLoone:

“I learned a lot from Stan and here is an example,” McLoone said. “Years ago, we were working on a graphic making fun of the Dallas Cowboys. Stan took a look at it, chuckled and asked who wrote it. I told him it was a collective effort by the staff. Stan said it had to carry someone’s name. I asked why. Stan said he was fine with the criticism, but not fine unless someone took ownership of it and was willing to stand behind it. That taught me a lot about fairness and integrity.”

And from Ray Didinger:

“I always believed that you could take all of the bylines off of all of the stories written in a day and everyone would know which one was written by Stan,” Didinger said. “His style and his voice were uniquely his own. There have been a lot of greats who have worked at the Daily News, but if you were going to pick the single byline that most people will associate with the Daily News forever, it’s probably Stan.

“I think he would like to be remembered as a guy who followed the three precepts he learned at his first job – it was on the top of each piece of copy paper that he put in the typewriter: ‘Keep it tight. Keep it bright. Get it right.’


We’ll have some draft notes and more.