Earlier this week, rumors started swirling around that Mariota was hesitant to sign his rookie deal due to a clause that would prohibit him from surfing. Seems logical, right? I mean, everyone in Hawaii is a professional surfer. At least that's what watching Johnny Tsunami taught me.
To no surprise, that rumor was shot down pretty quick, according to Paul Kuharsky, who covers the Titans for ESPN.com.
Someone directly involved with the deal said "no truth at all" to surfing storyline with regard to Mariota contract. #Titans— Paul Kuharsky (@PaulKuharskyNFL) July 2, 2015
BTW, Mariota talks about boogie boarding, not surfing. Not the same. #Titans— Paul Kuharsky (@PaulKuharskyNFL) July 2, 2015
What is likely holding up the deal is offset language in the contract. What is offset language? It essentially ensures that a player can't be paid by two teams at the same time, also known as "double dipping." Rookie contracts are four-year deals with a fifth-year option. The deadline for exercising that option comes after the third season. If Mariota didn't have offset language in his contract, he would sign with a new team for X amount of dollars while the Titans still owed him the money from his rookie deal. If there is offset language in the contract, the Titans wouldn't owe Mariota a dime after he was gone. So you can see why teams want offset language while the players are generally hesitant to accept it.
While all four of Tennessee's first round draft picks since the new CBA in 2011 have had offset language in their rookie contracts, it's not always the case for top picks. While No. 1 overall pick Jameis Winston does have offset language in his deal, No. 3 overall pick Dante Fowler does not.
Earlier in June, Titans general manager Ruston Webster said he doesn't see a major issue with the contract and isn't concerned if Mariota misses a day or two of training camp. But if the Titans want Mariota on the fast track towards adjusting to the NFL game, every day of training camp will be valuable time for the rookie quarterback, time that they don't want to waste over a contract dispute.