INDIANAPOLIS — The Titans will spend this offseason waiting for starting quarterback Marcus Mariota to fully recover from last year's injury.
A familiar face – veteran quarterback Matt Cassel — will be on standby, ready to do whatever is necessary.
The Titans agreed to terms on a contract extension with Cassel on Thursday morning. Cassel's contract was set to expire next week. His new contract is a two-year deal.
Depending on Mariota's recovery from December's fractured fibula, Cassel could play a big role in the team's offseason work.
Cassel played well in relief of Mariota in 2016, and he's prepared to fill the same role in 2017.
In four games last season, Cassel completed 30-of-51 passes for 284 yards, with two touchdowns and two interceptions, and a passer rating of 71.0.
Cassel started the season-finale against the Texans, and guided the team to a victory on a day when he completed 16-of-26 passes for 150 yards, a touchdown and an interception.
In 12 NFL seasons with the Patriots, Chiefs, Vikings, Bills, Cowboys and Titans, Cassel has thrown for 17,287 yards and 103 touchdowns, with a
career passer rating of 79.2. Cassel signed with the Titans last March.
At the NFL Combine on Wednesday, Titans coach Mike Mularkey and general manager Jon Robinson both said they expect Mariota to make a full recovery from last year's fractured fibula.
"I feel pretty good about it,'' Mularkey said of Mariota's timetable. "You have to trust the doctor's words, and if you know Marcus like we do, we believe with the way he goes about his business he'll be prepared. He is not going to overdo it, he has been told to be careful, and be smart about it.
"Our No.1 goal is to make sure he is under center when we open up opening day. I am not going to put a timeframe on when that first practice or when that first (OTA) will be. I can't do that because every player is different in how they recover, and it's difficult to do."
TitansOnline.com looks back at QB Matt Cassel's 2016 season with the Titans. (AP Photos)