Entering his fifth season with the Tennessee Titans, quarterback Marcus Mariota says that he is not concerned with any added pressure of playing into the final year of his contract.
The Saint Louis graduate sat down with KHON2 Sports Director Rob DeMello on Monday morning ahead of his annual Motiv8 Foundation Charity Golf Tournament at the O’ahu Country Club.
Mariota, who ended the 2018 season on the injury list after suffering from a nerve injury in his elbow, says that he is working towards being 100% for offseason workouts in mid-April.
“I’m getting close. It’s been awesome to actually be here at home recovering. I think this has been the longest stint I’ve been home since high school,“ said Mariota. “It’s good to be around people that genuinely care about you, that want you physically healthy. So, it’s been a blessing to be able to work with all the people here at home and I’m definitely feeling a lot better“
Earlier this year, the Titans exercised the fifth-year option on Mariota’s rookie contract, keeping him under team control through the 2019 season, as the Titans captain will receive a base salary of $20.9 million.
When asked if he has any concerns entering the year without a long-term deal secured, Mariota made it very clear that he understands that the NFL is a business.
“My mentality as a competitor never changes. I’m going to do my best to be at my best when the season comes and do my best to win games. All that other stuff will take care of itself,“ Mariota told DeMello.
“Obviously I love Nashville, I love Tennessee. It’s a great organization to play for. With that being said, they got, it’s a business and you can’t take any of that stuff personal. You just got to go out there and do your thing. No matter what, my number one goal is to get healthy and from there just become a better football player and do my best to be my best when the season comes so we can win games.“
After going 3-13 in his rookie season, which was the franchises fourth consecutive losing campaign, Mariota has led Tennessee to three consecutive 9-7 seasons.
In 2017 the Titans reached the playoffs for the first time in nine years and won a postseason game for the first time in 14-years.
In 56 career games, Mariota has thrown for 12,004 yards and 69 touchdowns with an 89.4 passer rating.
As part of Mariota’s Motiv8 Foundation golf tournament and fundraiser on Monday, Brad Hiranaka of Kauai Youth Football and Lanai High’s Stephen Ferguson, were named winners of the Ardell Deppe Community Football Coaching Awards.
The honorees will each receive $5,000 worth of Riddell football equipment for their teams through the Motiv8 Foundation
The Deppe Award is named in honor of Mariota’s late grandfather.
Stay tuned both on-air on the KHON2 News and online at KHON2.com for more from Mariota’s interview.