Chip Kelly supports Mariota’s decision to stay in school

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The man who recruited quarterbck Marcus Mariota to Oregon has no issue with Mariota’s decision to stay there.  Especially since Chip Kelly doesn’t currently need a quarterback.

Kelly applauded Mariota’s decision to stay in school, via John Gonzalez of  And Kelly suggested that Mariota’s decision could extend through 2015.

“I’m happy for him,” Kelly said.  “I know he comes from a great family. His dad and mom value education.  Marcus is going to stay and get his degree.  He’s a really special young man.  I think everyone in the league is going to have to wait a couple of years.”

Kelly said that he didn’t consult with Mariota about the decision.  League rules prohibit it.

Then again, League rules also prohibit talking about an underclassman who has yet to be certified for the draft.

“I love coaching him,” Kelly said of Mariota.  “He’s exactly what you want in a football player.”

It’s a good thing Nick Foles has been named the starter for the next 1,000 years.  Otherwise, Foles could get the wrong idea.

Speaking of wrong, Mariota could be making the wrong decision.  While it’s an intensely personal choice, we’ve seen more than a few guys wait — and suffer for it via their future draft stock.  NFL teams want guys who crave the opportunity to compete at the highest level.  When a guy’s draft stock already is as high as it likely will be, why wait?

Waiting also delays the player’s ability to get a second contract, which has become even more important in the wake of the new rookie wage scale.

Still, Mariota has the right to continue playing football for no money.  Or, more accurately, for plenty of money that flows into someone else’s pockets.

But at least he gets to wear a different helmet every week.

49 responses to “Chip Kelly supports Mariota’s decision to stay in school

  1. “Still, Mariota has the right to continue playing football for no money. Or, more accurately, for plenty of money that flows into someone else’s pockets.”

    C’mon now, the starting QB for Oregon…I’m pretty sure he’s doing all right.

  2. This is probably a good thing for Mariota & the NFL. You saw his LACK of productivity against a good Stanford defense. That would be what he would face on a weekly basis. I don’t think he would be as good as he is being made out to be.

  3. I think there is never a mistake in stay in school longer rather than shorter. Regardless these kids make hundreds of thousands of dollars WORST CASE, one extra year of school is more important. Even if their reasoning isn’t for the education (it usually it isn’t), the education is still a byproduct that’s important to their development as PEOPLE not just players.

  4. Manning, Brady, Brees, Luck, Wilson, Kaep, Rivers, Roethlisberger, Dalton went back for their senior years.
    When rookies made more money than veterans, it made sense to come out early and lock in that big bonus. Now it makes more sense to stay an extra year if you’re not ready. Many players are ready, and getting that second contract a year earlier is nice. But if you aren’t ready, or if you just love college, it makes more sense to wait a year, and give yourself a better chance of having a second contract.
    And with ATL and StL at the top of the draft, either a team will be trading away picks to get you, and leave you with no talent around you, or you’ll end up on Jax, which is just as bad. Wait another year and maybe a better situation develops (ie. Arizona, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Cleveland may have a need in 2015 for a QB.)

  5. College players should get paid. Their scholarships don’t cut the mustard. I do not think they should be making millions of dollars like NFL quarterbacks, but colleges make a LOT of money from a well-performing ball club. The problem, as I see it, with paying college players is that the colleges and universities then take the role as “owners”. How much money a university spends on it’s football program varies wildly, so there needs to be some kind of (relatively even) profit distribution between all the football programs in the NCAA.

  6. There’s more to education than a career and there’s more to a career than gross income. I support him doing what he wants to do.

  7. Matt Leinart sticking around another year to take a ballroom dancing class comes to mind…

    That said, it’s his decision. Sounds like he’s working towards a degree, not just enjoying the fruits of being Big Man on Campus.

    Jacksonville will be terrible next year, too.

  8. Those are some cool helmets. Chip probably called him and convinced him to stay in school. He probably sees better odds of him going to an AFC team next year. Chip likes his QB situation now and he knows how important the position is, and this is one more of a head start against some other team getting a new QB into the mix. Less pressure equals a decision he has no issue with supporting.

    Kiper thinks it was a good idea too. He has Mariota as the FIFTH overall player, but somehow it’s a better idea to hold out and do even better because it’s all about maxing out that SECOND contract with this decision today. Kiper is insane.

  9. The last half of this article is so presumptuous and ridiculous. As a man who practiced law, I’m kind of surprised that you make such a sweeping assumption about someone who I’m assuming you’ve never personally met.

    All of your “waiting is a mistake” is wholly predicated on Mariota exclusively desiring an NFL career and the maximum amount of cash possible. What if he does, as Kelly pointed out, value education? It might be a mistake financially, but for the betterment of himself in the practical long-term, he stands to earn a degree from an incredibly respectable university which will help him a hell of a lot more should he shred his knee year one than worrying about his second contract will.

    I dunno. Maybe I’m wrong, but I think students placing value on education over playing on Sundays is still highly laudable, and seeing someone mock it because it’s not the most self-serving option is just a disappointment to me. If you want to debate the legitimacy and fairness of the NCAA, I get that, but I thing you’re square peg round holing the argument here.

  10. If I had $100 billion, you know what I would want to buy with that money? A chance to be a star quarterback at a major university with a chance to win a national championship and every girl on campus drooling over me. Well played Marcus.

  11. “Still, Mariota has the right to continue playing football for no money. Or, more accurately, for plenty of money that flows into someone else’s pockets.”

    Getting a free ride in college is not exactly playing for free, Mike.

  12. “thepftpoet says:
    Dec 4, 2013 1:13 PM
    As a Vikings fan with a high draft pick, I don’t support this decision”


    In my opinion, if the Vikes had drafted Mariota, it would have probably been another “miss” like Ponder. No doubt, Mariota has the physical tools, but I have not seen him display the requisite QB acumen that translate well to the pros. I know Ponder came from a Pro-style offense, but he was a very average QB back then. Which is why it is still a shock the Vikes selected him so high. So I think you, as a Vikes fan, should be thankful that it eliminates one possibility of making the wrong choice.

  13. I bet he’s waiting to come out since it doesn’t look like Chip will have a high enough pick to take him. If the Eagles tank his senior year, we’ll know something was up.

  14. Mariota is making a very wise choice. An education, even for talented athletes is a valuable possession. Football is not the “end all be all” in life. An education is one of life’s most important attainments. Congratulations young man!

  15. Staying in school for another year also gives Chip Kelly another shot at him, in case Nick Foles crashes and burns next season. Foles has already guided the Eagles out of contention for a high draft choice this year, so it gives Kelly another year to determine if Foles is guy in the future.

  16. Mariota is 20 yrs old. He wants to get his degree. If anybody thinks this is an immature decision by a kid not competitive enough….clueless. He has only played football for 4 yrs, beginning his senior yr of high school and including 1 redshirt season. With respect to the smack talk about him not playing well against Stanford….he was hurt. Most QB’s would have been on the bench, protecting their Heismans stats, and at the time he was number 1. Marcus has been taught that football is not the only thing in life, and perhaps he wants something more after a career which typically lasts less than 10 yrs is over.

  17. So in the same paragraph, it’s an intensely personal decision….AND….his decision is “wrong” and there’s a good chance he’s going to suffer. Your OPINION suggests that this young man’s sole motivating factor in life is money. Is it a mistake to stay in school if he has no desire to play in the NFL? You don’t know what his goals in life are…so to declare his decision and “mistake” based on your own opinion of “success” is ridiculous.

  18. Typing this from Oregon… my take is that he simply wasn’t “grown up” enough yet for the NFL. This is a KID here… he knows it, his family knows it.

    A top-5 QB draft pick gets thrown to the dogs. Witness Joey Harrington. It may be the young man’s fate to be under enormous pressure on a bad team… but wealthy… with huge grown men trying to tear his head off every Sunday. But not next year! Next year he gets to revel in being a student-athlete at one of the great football colleges in America, and yes, we have some rather fetching young ladies here, too.

    I was pleasantly surprised he is staying, but not shocked. GO DUCKS!

  19. An NFL team should be able to draft him and pay him to continue to develop by playing QB for the Ducks.

  20. bestbadteamaround says:
    Dec 4, 2013 1:38 PM
    I bet he’s waiting to come out since it doesn’t look like Chip will have a high enough pick to take him. If the Eagles tank his senior year, we’ll know something was up.


    I kind of thought something like that too. I get a somewhat sinking feeling that Chip and Howie have every intention of moving Foles to try to set up a tank year and a super draft of sorts. Education is great and all but if the kid tears an ACL next year, that will cost him millions. I kind of think this has as much to do with who would likely draft him this year as much as anything else.

  21. The decision to stay in college and get a degree on the off chance that you flame out at the NFL level is the worst choice ever made. He should be flogged in the streets for attempting to earn a degree when he could potentially be in the NFL, where first round draft choices always succeed.

  22. I agree with Asdrubael 100%. It’s very disappointing to see someone question a student staying to get his education. What an embarrassing position to take!

  23. TBH, if he really does want his degree he would easily be able to finance it as a top 5 draftpick even under the new CBA. He could have always pulled a Roethlisberger or an Aikman or a Polamalu and completed his degree later in life (and I mean, it’s not like any of those guys are “old” per se, except maybe Aikman who is now in his late 40s).

  24. So why wasn’t Peyton Manning criticized for returning to Tennessee for his senior season? Surely that had to be a mistake, right? Or was it not a mistake simply because nothing bad happened? Is that now our only criteria for judgment? Look at the state of the NBA right now, and then tell me these decisions should be all about the money. Imagine the NFL with that many ill-prepared young players.

  25. Kleppnasty has it right; stay in school, get your degree and another year training in the NFL’s minor league system. With the rookie wage scale being what it is, mega-bonuses are down, staying in school makes sense.

    That being said, if Mariota gets injured his senior year, this site will light up with people saying he should have come out a year earlier. Sigh. Even if he did get injured (God please forbid) he’s ahead of the curve if he stays in school. He might not make it in the NFL, no one is guaranteed a spot on a team these days.

  26. I remember when Matt Barkley was the top QB in the draft (the year before he decided to stay for his senior year).

  27. He needs to ask Kelly for Matt Barkleys phone number. That’ll be the end to his decision to stay in school. Get paid dude you can always go back

  28. Marcus Mariota – one of those rare, real student-athletes it seems*

    * although I have no idea what class he’s taking – maybe social sciences major in Madden Football or something… but a degree is way more important for when he’s in his thirties and forties and onwards, whether or not he gets a good little signing bonus and a flame-out year or two as back-up QB for the Browns or someone…

  29. While the money in the NFL is ungodly tempting you also have to factor in the intangibles of being the starting QB for a top ranked program.

    You only have one college career, and Oregon will be a legit contender to win the BCS Championship with the new playoff format starting next year.

    Also some kids don’t want to give up the “college” life where they don’t have all of the responsibilities that the pros have.

  30. I’ll be real interested to see how many flags are thrown this weekend for coaches/players being in the white area. It happens ALL the time! Tomlin just took it to a new level but the league either enforces the rule or abandons it. I hate what the NFL is today, hate it. Let’s get back to playing football dammit!

  31. dc sween…maybe money is not the only thing mariota cares about. and yes, it did not work out for Barkley, but has worked out for many others. MM doing what is best for him.

  32. Personally, I think it’s a great decision if he wants to get his degree. Who wants to go back to school when your NFL career is over? “Hey, look at that washed up old man oogling the 19 year old girls!”
    He’s come this far in school, get the degree now. Besides, those Oregon cheerleaders are smokin’ hot.

  33. kleppnasty says:
    Dec 4, 2013 1:24 PM
    Manning, Brady, Brees, Luck, Wilson, Kaep, Rivers, Roethlisberger, Dalton went back for their senior years.
    Out of that group, no one wanted Brady so he can be cancelled out. Manning, Luck, and Rivers were legit 1st rounders to begin with. Big Ben, Dalton, Wilson, Kaep were afterthoughts until the draft came. I get what your saying, but Marcus has shown squat against a comparable NFL style Stanford team in two years. He may or may not improve, but getting educated is something I wish I see more of. If he comes out next year with no degree, all bets off, he was chasing money or a better team.

  34. I find it hard to argue that “he could be making the wrong decision.” That statement implies that the only reason for such a decision is the effect on the player’s draft stock and the financial consequences. While it’s true that his draft stock may take a hit when he’s hyper-scrutinized next year, he could actually get better as a player. That aside though, falling draft stock is not always a bad thing. It may mean a smaller first contract, but it could mean being drafted by a better team, leading to better long term results.

    Also, the statement that waiting delays the player’s ability to get a second contract is inaccurate. If his draft stock does fall and he is picked later in the first round or outside of the first round, then, of course, the maximum length of his rookie contract decreases as well. Obviously the time until unrestricted free agency is unaffected by draft position and thus waiting to enter the league consequently does delay unrestricted free agency.

  35. I have another angle on this.

    Some folks are talking some junk about MM’s play against Stanford. Well, could it be that this decision is two-fold? One, get the degree. Two, unfinished business with Stanford and the national championships Oregon was supposed to win this year and last. And the chance to be the QB on the first champion in college football history to be determined solely on the field through a playoff.

    He has a chance to earn a degree and make football history. Good for him.

  36. Mr smell….MM is going to get his degree…already on track to do so. I think you are forgetting some things…he just turned 20 on Oct 30th. He did not play football til his senior yr of high school, had 1 redshirt season and now played for 2 yrs. This year against stanford he was injured….which anyone who has watched one game would know that he was pretty much using 1 leg. The first yr against stanford…don’t know…could it be his first big game and he was 19? this kid is the real deal…will he be an awesome NFL QB…don’t know. But he is an awesome kid with great values, and he will be a great QB next year, better than this yr..and this yr was not bad…take away the injury and he was at the top of the Heisman race.

  37. “logicalvoicesays
    Dec 4, 2013, 1:19 PM EST
    Zero Superbowls. #Wehave3”

    WE? Did you ever in your useless clown trolling life post anything of merit? Imbecile.

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