The Raiders have received interest on Marcus Mariota, with multiple teams contacting them about their backup quarterback. But the six-year veteran’s uniquely structured contract has provided an obstacle.
Mariota’s trade market has slowed “significantly,” according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, who notes teams as of now appear unwilling to send the Raiders draft compensation for Mariota’s contract (video link).
While Mariota’s deal is a two-year, $17.6MM pact on the surface, it would spike substantially if a team used the former No. 2 overall pick as a starter in 2021. Due $10.63MM in 2021 base salary, Mariota could collect over $20MM in total next season if he works as a team’s primary starter. A $12MM salary escalator exists in the former Titans starter’s contract for the ’21 season. Were a team to trade for Mariota, it would likely need to pay him far more than the Raiders would — were they to keep him stationed as Derek Carr‘s backup.
A scenario involving a Mariota release may well surface soon. The Raiders would create $11.35MM in cap space by cutting their QB2. While Carr has (again) been linked to trades, the Raiders are more inclined to ship out Mariota in a deal. But the 27-year-old passer might not fetch much and could wind up back in free agency.
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