Marcus Mariota

Marcus Mariota Has No-Trade Clause In New Raiders Deal

Marcus Mariota took a pay cut in order to stay with the Raiders. But, in exchange, the backup quarterback received a no-trade clause, according to a league source who spoke with Greg A. Bedard of the Boston Sports Journal (on Twitter).

Mariota was originally set to earn $10.725MM, a hefty price for a QB2. Rather than getting released or traded, he agreed to lower his salary to $3.5MM. Of course, Mariota’s new deal makes him much more attractive to teams in need of QB support, so Mariota insisted on maintaining some control over his future.

No-trade clauses are pretty rare in the NFL. As of late February, these were the only nine players in the NFL with veto power in their contracts:

Now, Mariota is an unexpected member of the club, so any teams with interest in the former second overall pick may have to look elsewhere.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Marcus Mariota To Take Pay-Cut, Stay With Raiders

It looks like Marcus Mariota will be staying with the Raiders after all. The quarterback is expected to sign a reworked deal with Las Vegas that will drop his salary to $3.5MM, sources told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link).

We heard last week that the team was going to “move on” if he refused to cut his compensation, either through a trade or release, and that a divorce was “likely.” It was reported at the time that Mariota was reluctant to cut his deal because he felt like he had options on the market, but perhaps seeing a few more quarterbacks get signed made him less confident in having those options. Now, he’ll sign a one-year deal worth $3.5MM that can be worth up to $8MM with inceentives.

Rapsheet writes that “it was up and down the last few weeks, but he recently made the call to stick around.” In a follow-up tweet, Rapoport notes the original pay-cut offer was for $3MM, and that Mariota negotiated up and got himself some upside. He had previously been scheduled to take home $10.725MM, a hefty price for a backup to Derek Carr.

Mariota appeared in one game in place of an injured Carr last season 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.

Mariota is now on a very trade-friendly contract should a team come calling. We heard around the Super Bowl that there was legit interest in the former second overall pick, but then that interest reportedly cooled significantly.

Mariota spent his first five years in the league as Tennessee’s starter, but was benched by the Titans in favor of Ryan Tannehill midway through the 2019 season. Jon Gruden added him as his high-level clipboard holder last offseason. The 27-year-old will enter free agency next spring.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders Ask Marcus Mariota To Take Pay Cut; Release Or Trade Likely

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.

Marcus Mariota Trade Market Cooling

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC East Rumors: Watson, Mariota, Allen

Add veteran NFL reporter Tyler Dunne of GoLongTD.com to the list of writers who have heard that Texans QB Deshaun Watson is not budging on his desire to be traded, and that he continues to ignore every call from Houston brass. Of course, Watson has a no-trade clause that he could use to help dictate where he goes — assuming the Texans give in and deal him, which they have insisted they are not going to do — and we recently heard that the 49ers and Broncos are on his destination list.

Dunne’s source indicates that the Dolphins — who have been considered one of the frontrunners for Watson since trade speculation started to swirl — and the Niners are Watson’s top two preferred clubs. In Dunne’s view, a trade to Miami makes too much sense to not happen, and he believes the ‘Fins and Texans could line up on a deal that sends Watson to South Beach in exchange for the No. 3 and No. 18 overall picks in this year’s draft along with Miami’s 2022 first-rounder.

Now for more rumors from the AFC East:

  • Recent reports have indicated that Raiders QB Marcus Mariota is generating legitimate trade interest, and Mike Reiss of ESPN.com believes the Patriots could be in the mix. New England obviously needs a quarterback, and Mariota is attached to a reasonable $10.6MM salary for 2021 and would not cost much to acquire in terms of draft capital. Although he could demand a raise if he is being acquired to serve as a starter, his current salary would not preclude the Pats from continuing to explore other options, like Jimmy Garoppolo — if the the 49ers land a different QB and release Garoppolo — or a collegiate passer.
  • Reiss does not expect the Patriots to make a deal with the division-rival Jets for Gang Green QB Sam Darnold, though what the Jets do with Darnold could certainly have a major impact on New England (for instance, if New York trades Darnold to San Francisco, Garoppolo could become available).
  • The Jets have among the most cap space in the league at just shy of $70MM, and they can easily create even more flexibility, thereby giving them a huge advantage in what could be a buyer’s market given the decreased salary cap. Connor Hughes of The Athletic believes New York will release DE Henry Anderson, which jibes with a report from December. That move will save the club $8.2MM in cap space, and Hughes suggests that guards Greg Van Roten and Alex Lewis might be goners as well (their releases would save $3.4MM and $5.1MM, respectively).
  • Meanwhile the Jets don’t have too many of their own free agents that must be retained. Hughes expects safety Marcus Maye to be re-signed, and he also says OL Pat Elflein — who played well in 2020 after being claimed off waivers from the Vikings — is a logical candidate to return, especially if the team moves on from Van Roten and/or Lewis.
  • Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News does not foresee the Bills laying out major free agent dollars this offseason. Instead, he expects the club to use the majority of its cash on an extension for QB Josh Allen, which means that the Bills will likely allow LB Matt Milano to test the open market — contrary to GM Brandon Beane‘s assertion that a franchise tag could be in play — and will not be in the running for a top pass rusher like Shaquil Barrett or Bud Dupree.

Raiders QB Marcus Mariota Generating Trade Interest

Derek Carr isn’t the only Raiders quarterback who’s generating trade interest. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that teams have “legitimate and real” trade interest in backup Marcus Mariota.

[RELATED: Raiders Open To Derek Carr Trade?]

Mariota joined the Raiders last offseason on a two-year, $17.6MM deal. He had an IR stint in September and October, and he didn’t leave the bench until the Raiders’ Week 15 loss to the Chargers. Mariota completed 17 of his 28 pass attempts for 226 yards, one touchdown, and one interception in that game, and he added another score and 88 yards on the ground. Rapoport says that singular performance caught the eyes of other teams, with some organizations believing that Mariota could have a similar career path as Ryan Tannehill (who, of course, resuscitated his career after replacing Mariota in Tennessee).

Mariota showed glimpses of promise during his five seasons in Tennessee, but he obviously disappointed considering his second-overall-pick pedigree. The quarterback went 18-16 during his final three seasons with the Titans, but he also had only 31 touchdowns vs 25 interceptions.

We learned earlier this week that teams had inquired on Carr, and reports indicated that the Raiders were willing to listen to offers on their starting quarterback. Rapoport clarifies that while the Raiders wouldn’t hang up the phone on any team, they’re not eager to move on from the 29-year-old, and a deal for Carr would be “incredibly expensive.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders Open To Derek Carr Trade?

This is shaping up to be a historic offseason of quarterback movement, as Matthew Stafford has already been dealt, and Carson Wentz, Deshaun Watson, and Sam Darnold might not be too far behind. There haven’t been any concrete trade rumors regarding Raiders QB Derek Carr this year, but it sounds like that could change soon.

According to Mike Garafolo, Tom Pelissero, and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, rival clubs have been calling the Raiders to gauge their interest in dealing Carr, and Vegas is at least willing to entertain those discussions. The caveat is that the Raiders would want to replace Carr with a passer of similar quality, though that probably would need to happen in a separate transaction. Unless Carr somehow becomes involved in a trade for Watson, no other QBs that could be on the move are as valuable as Carr at the moment.

The Raiders narrowly missed the playoffs in 2020, but that had more to do with their defense than their offense. Vegas was a top-10 unit both in terms of total offense and in points per game, and Carr set a new career-high with a 101.4 QB rating. His 4,103 passing yards were also a personal best, and he threw 27 TDs against just nine picks.

The soon-to-be 30-year-old is under contract through 2022, and his salaries in each of the last two years of his deal are just shy of $20MM, a relative bargain. So while the club would surely be able to get a terrific return if it traded Carr, its status as a potential playoff contender suggests that such a deal might not be something you want to bet your house on.

Indeed, the NFL.com trio goes on to say that the Raiders, who just handed Nathan Peterman a $1MM guarantee for 2021, are open to trading either Carr or Marcus Mariota, and it would seem that Mariota is a much likelier candidate to be moved. Perhaps there will be some discussion on that front once the dust settles on Wentz, Watson, and Darnold.

Still, the fact that the Raiders are willing to engage in talks involving Carr when they have firmly rebuffed any such overtures in the past few years is notable, especially at a time when the trade market is chock-full of interesting signal-callers.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders Activate Marcus Mariota From IR

Marcus Mariota is back on the Raiders’ active roster. The Raiders activated the former Heisman Trophy winner from IR on Tuesday, and he will resume his backup role in Week 7.

Derek Carr is coming off one of his best games as a pro, when he led the Raiders to a 40-32 upset win over the Chiefs. While Mariota was given a lucrative QB2 deal in March, he no longer looks like a threat to take over for Carr. But this will certainly help Las Vegas’ depth.

The former No. 2 overall pick landed on the Raiders’ IR list prior to Week 1 because of a strained pectoral muscle. Mariota has battled injuries since his Christmas Eve 2016 leg break — the same day as Carr’s — and saw his starter status end when the Titans demoted him for Ryan Tannehill last year. But the longtime Tennessee starter will begin backing up Carr this weekend; the team hosts the Buccaneers on Sunday night.

The Raiders gave Mariota a two-year, $17.6MM deal to back up Carr and likely push the six-year incumbent. But Carr has made incremental strides under Jon Gruden, despite constant rumors of these parties separating. He ranked 10th in QBR last season, leads the NFL with a 73.1% completion rate and has an 11-1 TD-INT ratio. Carr threw for 347 yards and added three touchdown passes against the Chiefs.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders Place Marcus Mariota On IR, Add DeShone Kizer To P-Squad

The Raiders have placed quarterback Marcus Mariota on injured reserve, per a club announcement. For added insurance, the club has added one-time Notre Dame star DeShone Kizer to the Raiders’ practice squad. 

Mariota’s strained pectoral muscle will keep him out for at least three weeks, per the league’s modified rules for 2020. Without him, the Raiders are rolling with two QBs on the active roster – Derek Carr and Nathan Peterman. Mariota’s temporary absence may take a little bit of pressure off of Derek Carr, who has certainly heard the footsteps. Mariota, who was leapfrogged by Ryan Tannehill in Tennessee, finished the year with a career-low 59.4% completion rate and just 1,203 yards.

Kizer has been on the workout trail ever since he was cut by the club in May, but those tryouts didn’t land him a deal. Now, the 2017 second-round pick will stick around in Las Vegas as he waits for his next opportunity. Kizer, 24, has made 18 appearances over the course of his NFL career, most of which came during the Browns’ winless season. All in all, he’s got eleven touchdowns against 24 interceptions.

Here’s the full rundown of the Raiders’ practice squad after Monday’s move:

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Contract Details: Brees, Mariota, Apple

Let’s take a closer look at the details of a few recently-signed free agent contracts:

AFC

  • Marcus Mariota, QB (Raiders): Two years, $17.6MM $7.5MM guaranteed. $2.4MM in incentives available in 2020 (60% snaps). $1.5MM in playtime and win incentives. $10MM in similar incentives available in 2021. $2MM in playoff/Super Bowl wins each year. $12MM 2021 salary escalator (Twitter link via Mike Garafolo of NFL.com).
  • Eli Apple, QB (Raiders): One year, $6MM. Fully guaranteed. $500K available via incentives (Twitter link via Garafolo.
  • Pierre Desir, CB (Jets): One year, ~$3.75MM. Max value of $5.5MM via incentives (Twitter link via Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News).
  • Chad Henne, QB (Chiefs): Two years, $3.25MM. $2MM guaranteed. Max value of $7.25MM (Twitter link via Tom Pelissero of NFL.com).
  • Nelson Agholor, WR (Raiders): One year, veteran salary benefit. $887K guaranteed. $137K signing bonus (Twitter link via Pelissero).

NFC

  • Drew Brees, QB (Saints): Four years, $100MM. $25MM guaranteed. Void years used in 2022-23. Brees receives no-trade clause and no franchise/transition tag can be used after 2021 (Twitter link via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle).
  • Jalen Mills, DB (Eagles): One, $4MM. Up to $1MM available via incentives (Twitter link via Adam Caplan of SiriusXM NFL Radio).
  • Thomas Davis, LB (Redskins): One year, $3.5MM. $250K available via incentives (Twitter link via Pelissero).
  • Shon Coleman, T (49ers): One year, $2.2MM. $1.37MM signing bonus (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Miles Killebrew, S (Lions): One year, $2MM. $1.137MM guaranteed (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Jayron Kearse, S (Lions): One year, $2MM. Up to $1.25MM available via incentives (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Pharoh Cooper, WR (Panthers): One year, $1.21MM. $300K signing bonus (Twitter link via Wilson).