Marcus Mariota appears to be nearing the end of his time in Las Vegas. The Raiders have asked Mariota to take a pay-cut down to only $3MM this year, a source told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link).
If he refuses, the team will “move on,” Rapoport writes. Mariota is currently due $10.725MM, which is obviously quite steep for a backup to Derek Carr. Rapsheet says that a release is “likely,” but as he points out the team was just able to trade offensive linemen Rodney Hudson and Gabe Jackson yesterday after reports had already leaked that they’d be cut. We heard in February that Mariota was generating trade interest, but a couple weeks after that the interest had cooled significantly.
Meanwhile, Mariota “believes he has options” on the market, Mike Garafolo of NFL Network tweets. Garafolo adds that he expects Mariota to “hold firm” on not taking the pay-cut as a result. With Chicago signing Andy Dalton and Washington adding Ryan Fitzpatrick the list of teams looking for veteran bridge quarterbacks is dwindling, but there are still a few realistic destinations out there.
Jon Gruden added Mariota as insurance last offseason, but after Derek Carr had a career year he’s no longer as necessary. Mariota appeared in one game in place of an injured Carr and showed fairly well against the Chargers on national TV, completing 17 of 28 passes for 226 yards a touchdown and an interception. He also added 88 yards and another score rushing.
The former second overall pick spent his first five years with the Titans, starting 61 games for them before getting pulled for Ryan Tannehill midway through the 2019 campaign. Still only 27, it’ll be interesting to see where the former Heisman winner lands next.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.