Mariota puts big-dollar contract questions aside to focus on upcoming season

Marcus Mariota

Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota was on set Monday morning filming a new commercial with Island Insurance.

Over the last three years, the Saint Louis graduate has starred in a handful of commercials for the company, and admits that he’s slowly getting used to life as an actor.

But just like in football, he’s very critical when grading himself.

“Probably 70 out of 100,” he said. “It’s still new to me. It’s all kind of surreal. I’m still getting used to it, but it’s a lot of fun. For me, I think I found a new respect for actors and actresses, and how they handle themselves and how they’re able to do the job, because it’s not very easy.”

Marcus Mariota with comedian Tony Silva during the filming of Island Insurance commercial

Mariota, who has recovered from a broken leg suffered at the end of last season, fully expects to be given full clearance for training camp in late July, which only adds to the hype of his third season.

So far this off-season, he has been called an MVP candidate by Monday Morning Quarterback’s Peter King and his team has been predicted as a preseason favorite in the AFC South division race.

Recently, a report pointed out that Mariota could become the league’s first $30-million-per-season player, after Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, who entered the league one year before Mariota, signed a five-year, $125 million contract extension, which will serve as a benchmark for future negotiations.

“For any athlete, anybody in professional sports, it’s out of your control. I mean, you’ve got to play well, you’ve got to do certain things, things kind of have to line up for those contracts to happen. I can’t think about next season or the season after that. I’ve got to focus on our first game and continue to be the best guy that I can be for the team,” Mariota said. “If all those things happen and things go right and that contract is up, and you know, I’d love to be in Nashville and I think the Titans are such a great organization, that it would be a lot of fun to play for them for a long time.”

Mariota says he plans to arrive to Titans training camp at least a week early to work with his receivers, which include recently signed free-agent Eric Decker, who the quarterback feels will be a big addition to the offense in 2017.

“I think our receiver group is young. They have lots of talent, but to have a guy with the veteran presence that Eric can be for them is huge,” Mariota said. “He’s worked with Peyton Manning. He’s been on very successful teams, and he’s done it the right way for quite some time, so to add that piece to this team, I think it’s going to be critical for us, especially later on in the year.”

Titans training camp will open July 30 in Nashville.

The first preseason game on the schedule is set for August 12 against the New York Jets in New Jersey.

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