Former Havre Blue Pony and Montana Grizzly great Marc Mariani is no longer a Tennessee Titan. After four season in Nashville, and five training camps, Mariani was released by Tennessee last week, as the Titans made cuts down to their 53-man roster.
Mariani texted The Tennessean Friday morning saying he hopes he'll land with another team soon.
He said he's healthy for the first time in three years, and is thankful for that.
Mariani was drafted in the seventh round by Tennessee after back-to-back All-American seasons at Montana. He made the 53-man roster in his rookie season and after breaking several Titans' return records, he was named to the Pro Bowl in 2010. He went on to have a strong second year with the Titans, but injuries in 2012 and 2013 set him back.
Mariani suffered a horrific broken leg in a 2012 preseason game, which cost him the entire year. He was back in the summer of 2013, but a nagging shoulder injury towards the end of the preseason landed him on Injured Reserve for a second straight season.
Mariani came back this summer as healthy as he's been in two-plus years, and engaged in a battle with several wide receivers, as well as veteran return-man Leon Washington for a spot on the Titans' 53-man roster. He was productive in the return game for much of the preseason, while also catching six passes for 53 yards, including two that helped the Titans beat the Atlanta Falcons two weeks ago. However, it turns out that new head coach Ken Whisenhunt didn't think there was room for Mariani, who is a huge fan favorite in Nashville, on the Titans' roster.
Of course, Mariani, always the consummate professional, took the news well, and handled it with grace and dignity.
"It'll suck to say goodbye, but it's part of the gig," he told ESPN.Com. "It's been an amazing opportunity and I've loved my time here."
Several NFL websites agree that Mariani will get picked up by another NFL team. Many speculate that the St. Louis Rams, coached by former Titans' head man Jeff Fisher, is one option. Mariani also worked out for the San Diego Chargers last spring, while a still a free agent, before signing a one-year deal to return to Tennessee.