Pickers mailbag: Searching for a bright line for Marcus Mariota

I hope your summer is going well. Greetings from New Jersey, where I'm with my parents and siblings for a couple of days but remain dedicated to you and provide this mailbag.

Please catch the podcast with Rodger Saffold, which is a good listen and available to all.

Mariota3INDPK: This was not specifically for me, I don't think, but I'm not too proud to pretend, Mike.

I don’t have a bright line for this – but he’s not going to throw 30 TDs and five picks the way one respondent to your Tweet [Unlocked]

suggests. There are limitations to what the offense may allow him to do, though I hope those restraints will loosen if he’s going great.

For me, it’d start with throwing over 20 touchdowns and having a touchdown ratio better than 2:1. But then the question is, does that single, healthy season offset/overrule the body of work up to now to the point that he gets the big contract? Is the combination of what have you done for me lately and recency bias going to be a factor? It may well be.

PickersBottlesLimePK: Absolutely. If Marcus Mariota has the sort of year that doesn’t prompt the team to give him a long-term deal but also doesn’t prompt them to move on, the tag will certainly be in play. That number was $23.2 million in 2018 and will grow. If a deal doesn’t get done with Kevin Byard, the tag would certainly have to be an option. It’ll go up from 2018’s $11.287 million.

Ideally, they’ve got a deal done with Byard before they get to tag time and then they’ve got it for Mariota if they need it.

Ed Triplett If Ben Jones play declines more this year, what line changes would Titans most likely make?

PK: I think Corey Levin will key that. He’s the most likely alternative to Jones. So I think it’d have to be a combination of Jones playing poorly and Levin practicing well enough to push to replace him.

First Levin will have to hold off Hroniss Grasu in training camp.

PK: I’d be up for trying this out. I’d guess Winthrow would win. I’m less and less of a beer drinker. But I sure as hell would finish, unlike Aaron Rodgers.

Jamie Zaleski How long will Vrabel be keeping his mustache?

PK: No end in sight, sadly. He likes to have fun with such things and I’d hate to be called anti-fun. But he knows it’s not his best look.

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