Falcons fans got a good laugh last week when the Eagles were playing in the only preseason contest on television. Marcus Mariota gave Philly fans the same treatment that Atlanta suffered through last season.
The former Falcons quarterback played the entire first half, but only went 9-of-17 passing for 86 yards and an interception. Embarrassingly, the Eagles’ offense totaled just 88 total net yards and five first downs in seven drives. It was a pathetic performance.
Head coach Nick Siranni voiced his and the team’s support for Mariota as Jalen Hurts backup, even though third-stringer Tanner McKee went 10-of-18 for 147 yards and a TD line in six drives in last week’s preseason contest.
Nevertheless, the former Falcons signal caller is likely to make the Eagles roster, but that didn’t stop Eric Edholm from including Marcus Mariota on his list of potential cut candidates on roster bubbles.
Mariota initially appeared to be a smart addition as Hurts’ backup this offseason, despite his controversial departure from Atlanta. But after two lackluster preseason outings and a series of rough camp reports, Mariota’s job feels at risk. Part of that has to do with the work of impressive sixth-round rookie Tanner McKee, who is stating his case of the QB2 job.
The Eagles signed Mariota to a $5 million contract, although they’d incur a 2023 salary-cap hit of about $1.9 million if they cut him, according to Over The Cap. Not exactly small potatoes, but getting the backup-QB spot right is what matters most in a season where the Eagles believe they can vie for a Super Bowl title. After all, they weathered Hurts’ two-game absence last season and nearly won it all. If the coaches aren’t confident in Mariota, this should not be a financially motivated decision; they should trust their instincts and just cut him.
I don’t want Marcus Mariota to lose his job by any means, but the writing seems to be on the wall. He is just not a good quarterback anymore, and it’s clear he held the Falcons offense back last year. Eagles fans better hope Jalen Hurts doesn’t go down because their season will go down with him.
I doubt Mariota gets cut; however, he’s in the twilight years of his career. This could potentially be his last rodeo.
Photographer: Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire