Commanders To Sign QB Marcus Mariota

Widely expected to draft a passer with the second overall pick in this year’s draft, the Commanders are adding a veteran to the mix. Quarterback Marcus Mariota is set to join Washington on a one-year deal, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports. The pact has a base value of $6MM and can be worth up to $10MM, he adds.

Mariota’s journeyman status will continue with this pact. Washington will represent the fourth different team in as many years for the former No. 2 pick. After his run as the Titans’ starter came to an end in 2019, he had a two-year stint with the Raiders. That was followed by one-year pacts in Atlanta and Philadelphia, with the Falcons being the only team to provide a starting opportunity during that stretch.

The 30-year-old’s play in Atlanta came to an end under unusual circumstances. Mariota left the team before ultimately undergoing knee surgery. His performance and health status limited him to a one-year accord with the Eagles, although he has landed more money upfront and a higher maximum value this time around. The Oregon alum played in three games last season, attempting 23 passes. Easton Stick – a familiar face for new Eagles OC Kellen Moore – could replace Mariota as the team’s backup, Pro Football Network’s Adam Caplan notes.

The Commanders have Sam Howell on the roster, having drafted the North Carolina alum in 2022. He was handed the starting gig ahead of 2023, and for a time the 23-year-old showed flashes of potential. Things took a turn for the worse toward the end of the campaign, though, and a new general manager and head coach are in place compared to the regime which drafted him. Howell has been mentioned in trade talk with the expectation Washington would add a veteran passer before drafting either Drake Maye or Jayden Daniels in April.

Having Mariota in place will no doubt lead to increased chatter regarding a deal sending Howell out of the nation’s capital. A number of teams have already made a move on the backup quarterback market, but the latter (who has two more years on his rookie contract) could still be of interest to teams looking for a developmental option. Mariota, meanwhile, will aim to lock down the backup spot in Washington with the potential to see playing time early in 2024.

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