Texans should consider QB Marcus Mariota as veteran backup
The Atlanta Falcons are going all-in on Desmond Ridder.
The Falcons announced Tuesday they have released quarterback Marcus Mariota. The former Tennessee Titans 2015 first-round pick went 5-8 for the Falcons and had Atlanta flirting with a playoff spot in an anemic NFC South. The 13 games Mariota started were the most since 2018 when he went 7-6 with the Titans, who finished 9-7 that season.
The former Oregon Duck will be 30 years old on Oct. 30, and it is safe to say he has transitioned into a stable backup phase of his career. Since 2019 when he was benched in the middle of a Week 6 loss to the Denver Broncos, Mariota has been unable to return to the NFL consciousness as a starting quarterback.
From 2020-21, Mariota backed up Derek Carr with the Las Vegas Raiders before going to Atlanta to keep the seat warm for Ridder, the Falcons’ third-round pick.
If the Texans were to take Mariota, he would have the background to help Houston’s first-round quarterback manage the expectations of being the young face of a franchise, which is what Mariota had to experience with the Titans as their No. 2 overall pick in 2015. A quarterback room with Mariota and even Davis Mills as the veteran voices would help Houston’s rookie to process the game, slow it down, and learn how to prepare each week.
Mariota could still win the Texans games if called upon. Would Mariota be able to hold up for an entire season? Maybe not, as was the case with the Falcons, but if Mariota had to fill in for a few games, the Texans could manage. Mariota also had the benefit of rookie running back Tyler Allgeier and renaissance man Cordarrelle Patterson shouldering the load in the run game. Dameon Pierce would certainly replace or perform above the expectations of the Falcons’ rushing tandem.
The Texans should only bring in Mariota under the condition he is the backup, and the future lies in the rookie quarterback, who is to get as many first-team snaps as possible. It may not be anything to worry about as it is unlikely rookie coach DeMeco Ryans will take the same course as fourth-year coach Bill O’Brien in 2017 when he had Tom Savage starting ahead of their first-round rookie quarterback for all of the offseason until halftime of Opening Day.
More Latest Texans News!
Texans solved running back with Dameon Pierce selection