By David F. Cohen
ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio has some of the best sources in the NFL, and this morning he is reporting:
That sources within Marcus Mariota’s camp believe it has come down to the San Diego Chargers and Eagles in a bidding war with the Tennessee Titans.
Paolantonio also mentioned the New York Jets, St. Louis Rams and Cleveland Browns as potential trade partners, but made it clear the thought within Mariota’s camp is that the Eagles and Chargers are the favorites at this point.
Among multiple reports that the Chargers aren’t viewed as serious contenders, Sports Illustrated’s Peter King recently wrote that the Chargers likely won’t deal QB Philip Rivers:
Just a gut feeling after lots of time calling around over the weekend. Now, I do think the Titans and Chargers will talk this week, but I don’t see a smart match; moreover, as I’ve written all along, San Diego definitely does not want to trade Rivers, and I believe the Chargers have never been told Rivers won’t sign a contract in San Diego beyond this year—though he does not want to currently. I believe Tennessee would want more than the 33-year-old quarterback for the second pick in the draft, and if I’m San Diego GM Tom Telesco, I’m not willing to offer any more.
If the Chargers aren’t legitimate contenders for Mariota, that would seem to make the Eagles the favorites to land head coach Chip Kelly’s former quarterback as the draft draws closer.
As for Kelly, it seems like those close to him believe he is ready to make that one final big push for Mariota.
Speaking on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, Kelly’s former colleague at Oregon Nick Aliotti had this to say about Kelly’s plan for Thursday night.
“If there’s a way that he can get Marcus Mariota without selling the farm,” Aliotti said according to Pro Football Talk, “I think he’s still trying to do that.”