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Marcus Mariota, Broncos

NFL

Should the Broncos consider pursuing Marcus Mariota next offseason?

Marcus Mariota will probably find a new home next season. Where will it be? Consider this: While John Elway’s Denver Broncos legacy was cemented on the last day of January in 1999 when he captured his second straight Super Bowl title, his legacy as an executive is still in question. Since becoming the team’s president of football operations/general manager in 2011, Elway has guided the team to two separate Super Bowl runs, culminating in their victory at Super Bowl 50.

Elway’s Super Bowl victory will never be forgotten but his history without Peyton Manning under center has been questionable to say the least. Since the start of the 2015/2016 season, the Denver Broncos have started seven different players at quarterback and since Manning’s retirement the Broncos have struck out on every quarterback they have drafted, with Drew Lock still up in the air.

With no player on the roster that is destined to be the team’s next franchise quarterback, it leaves one to question whether former Tennessee Titans starting quarterback Marcus Mariota would be in play for Denver this offseason. Mariota’s future in a Titans uniform is all but over as he was benched in Week 6 in favor of Ryan Tannehill.

The former 2nd overall pick in 2015, Mariota will certainly find a home on a team that is banking he can still produce what many expected from him when he came out of Oregon, but the Broncos should not be that team. For Elway’s sake, signing Mariota even to a short term deal would be disastrous and only add to his history of missing on quarterbacks.

Take a lesson from Tennessee, if the team that drafted and invested so much in him has already given up in the middle of his fifth season, betting on him to turn it around for your franchise is a pipe dream. Mariota has failed to pass for over 3,500 yards in any of his and in three of those five-season has not even reached 3,000 yards.

The Denver Broncos have a multitude of other options that would serve as a better replacement for Joe Flacco then Mariota. Sticking with Drew Lock would be the first and most likely best option, as the rookie second-round draft pick has yet to play a snap this season. It is only fair that you give Lock a full season to in order to see what he can produce and gives the Broncos an opportunity to see if he can be the guy under center.

The second option would be to see who they could obtain in this year’s draft. At 3-7 on the season, the Broncos are in line for a top 10 pick and this year’s quarterback class might be just as stacked as the 2018 class. Joe Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert, Jake Fromm, and Jalen Hurts are all quarterbacks expected to go in the first round of this year’s draft and have the potential to be serviceable quarterbacks if not superstars.

Mariota to Denver would make little sense and simply continue the trend of washed-up quarterbacks getting their last chance at a starting job in a Broncos uniform.