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'Private Conversations, But ...': Marcus Mariota Reveals Emotions on Eagles Move


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'Private Conversations, But ...': Marcus Mariota Reveals Emotions on Eagles Move
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Marcus Mariota opens up about his departure from the Atlanta Falcons.

    Jacob Hare
    22 hours ago

On Wednesday, Netflix premiered an exciting eight-episode series titled "Quaterback," offering viewers unprecedented access to the lives of three NFL signal callers.

The series features behind-the-scenes footage of Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Marcus Mariota.

During the series, Mariota had the opportunity to set the record straight on what happened during his late-season departure from the Atlanta Falcons last season.

While rumors had started circulating that Mariota had "quit the team'' after being benched with four games remaining in the season for rookie Desmond Ridder, the veteran quarterback revealed that he had welcomed a newborn daughter around the same time as his benching.

"During the bye week, my daughter was born, Makaia. When she was born, Art (Atlanta coach Arthur Smith) brought me in … It was, like, talking about the future and kind of what he wanted to do, and they told me that they were going to play Des (rookie Desmond Ridder) for the last four games."

During his absence from the starting lineup, Mariota chose to undergo surgery for a chronic knee injury. Falcons coach Smith claims that this was not something he and Mariota had talked about when discussing his benching.

"When he and I had that conversation, that's not what we talked about," Smith said. "Those are private conversations, but it was more about where we were as a team, and as a player, and what the future might hold."

Contrary to the perception that he was quitting on his team, Mariota asserted that he was making a decision he believed was in the best interests of all parties involved

"I don't know why it had to be that narrative," Mariota said. "I gave everything I had for this team. I thought I was making a good decision for everybody. … Ultimately, we decided that getting my knee fixed was in the best interest. I came home, got my knee fixed and [have] been in Vegas."

As the series unfolded, it became evident that Smith did not harbor any resentment towards Mariota for his departure from the Falcons. He understood that football players have lives beyond the confines of the facility. Additionally, the two shared a longstanding relationship that dates back to Mariota's days with the Tennessee Titans.

"I love Marcus; thankful that I got to spend more time with him," Smith said. "People look at them, and they think they're robots. They wear a helmet, that they're these modern-day gladiators, but there's life outside this building. He gave us everything he had."

Despite things not working out for Mariota in Atlanta, he has found a new opportunity as the backup for Jalen Hurts this offseason. With this chance, Mariota aims to showcase his ability to perform at a high level if Hurts were to sustain an injury.


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I think that if Hurts were to go down, the Eagles with Mariota could surprise a lot of people.  He could be one of those players who needs to run an offense in a certain type of way to be effective.  Chip Kelly knew how to bring out the best of him in college to the point where he was drafted number 2 overall.  His NFL teams - the Titans, Raiders and Falcons weren't able to unlock his talent effectively.  But he's with the Eagles now.  Just because Chip Kelly isn't with the team anymore doesn't mean the Eagles don't have his playbook.  Dusting off the Chip Kelly playbook was a revelation for the Eagles during the team's 20107-18 Super Bowl run.  Who says history couldn't repeat itself.

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Reading that it does seem he felt disrespected when he was told he'd be benched for the final 4 games ... having surgery on his knee then (rather than waiting a month until the season was over) and Art confirming that wasn't something they discussed (to have the procedure performed at that time) when Marcus was stating it was leads me to think he did quit on the team.  Kinda seems like a Carson Wentz type of move.  Anyway, water under the bridge ... interested to see how Mariota looks in the preseason (albeit in a vanilla offensive attack) to get a feel if he will be an upgrade over Minshew.    

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