After backing up Derek Carr in the 2020 NFL season, Marcus Mariota appears to be on his way out of Las Vegas, but where could be his potential landing spots? Which teams could be in line to consider adding Marcus Mariota in the coming days, and what are the latest rumors?
Marcus Mariota’s potential landing spots
With the QB market beginning to close, the Las Vegas Raiders asked Marcus Mariota to take a pay cut. However, the rumors are that Mariota believes he could make more than the pay cut amount on the open market. Therefore, the Raiders look set to either trade or release their backup QB.
The Cardinals already took Rodney Hudson off the Raiders’ hands when he was set to be released. Could they look to do the same with Marcus Mariota?
Mariota’s style would suit playing as a backup to the elusive Kyler Murray. Additionally, the opportunity to play in a high-octane offense like the Cardinals could be extremely beneficial to Mariota. A handful of good games could see Mariota be a hot commodity in the free-agent market this time next year.
The Cowboys just signed Dak Prescott to a multi-year deal. On the other hand, they do not have a clear backup after Andy Dalton left in free agency.
The rumors out of Dallas have been quiet in the past few days, but could we see them bring in Marcus Mariota? Mariota would make for an intriguing backup for Prescott. Both QBs like to use their legs to extend plays. Additionally, Mariota would be going to one of the best teams in terms of skill-position weapons. If he gets a chance under center, Mariota could significantly improve his stock.
The Broncos QB situation is fluid right now. They may be on the outside looking in regarding a rookie QB in the 2021 NFL Draft. Therefore, they could decide to add veteran competition in free agency. It would make a lot of sense for Marcus Mariota to be the player they bring in.
He has experience as a starting QB in the NFL and could push Drew Lock in training camp. In addition, Mariota can bring an x-factor to the field. It does not always work out perfectly, but Mariota is certainly a player who can ignite an offense.
New England Patriots
The Patriots have brought Cam Newton back on a heavily-incentive-laden deal. But they have no real second QB to push Newton for the starting role.
Marcus Mariota could be the ideal QB to do that for the Patriots. Given the way Mariota likes to use his legs, the Patriots could essentially design similar schemes for the two QBs. That would be in contrast to the situation if they brought in a pass-first, stationary QB, limiting their ability to utilize any backup in case of injury to Newton.
San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers appear to be telling the world that Jimmy Garoppolo is their guy. Though, they could save more than $20 million by releasing Garoppolo. They would not have to pay Mariota as much to be the new starter, freeing up cap space to spend elsewhere.
With the potential for a shortened offseason, it would be a bold move for the 49ers to turn their offense over to a new QB. However, Marcus Mariota in Kyle Shanahan’s system would certainly be intriguing.
The Seahawks do not have a true backup to Russell Wilson on their roster right now. With rumors this could be Wilson’s final year in Seattle, adding a player like Marcus Mariota now would allow the Seahawks to bed in a potential future starter. Mariota could be on the roster as a high-quality backup while also learning the offense as a potential starting replacement next season. Therefore, this signing could serve a dual purpose for the Seahawks.
What is Marcus Mariota’s market value?
Marcus Mariota is set to earn around $10.7 million in 2021. and if the rumors are to be believed, he feels he can earn somewhere in that region on the open market. The Raiders have reportedly asked Mariota to take a pay cut to around $3 million. It seems as though he is not going to be willing to accept that pay cut. The Raiders can release Mariota and save all of his cap hit this season. Thus, the Raiders could be set to move on if Mariota does not accept that pay cut.
The question for Mariota is — what would his market value be as a free agent? We just saw Ryan Fitzpatrick get $10 million to compete for a starting role in Washington. That is the upside for Mariota if he refused to accept the Raiders pay cut; there are limited places he can be a starter or compete to be one in 2021.
The most likely destinations for him to get that amount are in San Francisco or Denver. The other option would be for Mariota to get a base value deal similar to Newton at $5 million, with a heavily-incentive-laden deal.
The issue for Mariota is that we have just seen Mitch Trubisky take a one-year, $2.5 million deal as a backup in Buffalo. After Jameis Winston played on a one-year deal for close to the veteran minimum in 2020, there is a wide range for what we could see Mariota get on the open market in 2021.
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