Marcus Mariota

Raiders Activate Marcus Mariota From IR

SATURDAY: Ahead of this afternoon’s deadline to set Week 6 rosters, the Raiders activated Mariota off IR, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. He will retake his position as Carr’s backup for a pivotal matchup against the Broncos. The seventh-year veteran spent four weeks on Las Vegas’ IR list.

WENESDAY: The Raiders have designated quarterback Marcus Mariota for return from the injured reserve list. Now that he’s returned to practice, he has a 21-day window to be restored to the roster. 

Mariota saw a single snap in the season opener against the Ravens before being forced out with a quadriceps injury. Even though he’s not the starter in Las Vegas, the Raiders were hoping to use him as a change-of-pace option. They also could have used him this past week — Nathan Peterman‘s drive in relief of Derek Carr didn’t achieve much. Carr checked out okay afterwards, but the Bears ultimately beat the Raiders 20-9.

The former No. 2 overall pick of the Titans has spent the last two years in Vegas. Last year, he mostly held the clipboard and started just once. In his late-season outing against the Chargers, Mariota completed 17 of 28 throws for 226 yards with one touchdown against one interception.

The Raiders released QB Kyle Sloter from the taxi squad yesterday, a sign that Mariota could be activated as soon as this week.

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Raiders Place Marcus Mariota On IR

SATURDAY: The Raiders will indeed place their backup quarterback on IR. Mariota will be out until at least Week 5 because of this decision, moving Peterman into position as Carr’s backup. Linebacker Marquel Lee will take Mariota’s place on Las Vegas’ active roster, ascending from the practice squad.

THURSDAY: Marcus Mariota is expected to be out multiple weeks with an aggravated quad injury (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). The Raiders quarterback will miss a few weeks, at minimum, making him a candidate for the short-term injured reserve list.

Mariota saw a single snap on Monday night and took it for a 31-yard run. Unfortunately, he was forced out immediately after that play. Although Mariota isn’t the starter in Las Vegas, he was expected to serve a key change-of-pace role in the offense. They’ll have to find that spark elsewhere for at least the next few weeks.

Nathan Peterman will now step into the QB2 role for the Raiders, holding the clipboard for starter Derek Carr. The Raiders can free up a roster spot by moving Mariota to the injured reserve list but they don’t necessarily need to fill his spot with another signal caller.

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. This year, he took a pay cut in order to stay with the Raiders through 2021. After his one-year, $3.5MM deal lapses, he’ll be eligible for free agency in the spring of 2022.

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Raiders G Denzelle Good Tears ACL

The Raiders came out of their nationally televised opener 1-0 but are down at least one key player for the season. Denzelle Good suffered a torn ACL, according to ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler (on Twitter).

Good spent most of last season as a starting guard for the Raiders, and the team used the veteran blocker as a starter Monday. Good was set to start opposite Richie Incognito, having won Las Vegas’ right guard gig. Incognito missed Monday’s game due to injury, thrusting second-year guard John Simpson into the starting lineup opposite Good. It would appear Simpson will stick in that role.

Good, 30, went down on the Raiders’ first drive. They moved recent addition Jermaine Eluemunor into the lineup opposite Simpson. The Raiders re-signed Good this offseason, giving him a two-year commitment at $4.18MM on average.

A former Colts draftee, Good hovered as a depth option between the 2016 and ’20 seasons. After spending the ’16 season as a primary Indianapolis starter, Good served as a backup in Indy and Oakland. However, the Raiders kept blocker around since claiming him off waivers late in the 2018 season. They were forced to use him as a regular following Incognito’s September 2020 injury. They will now hope Incognito can return from his latest injury soon.

Jon Gruden expressed concern Good, Yannick Ngakoue, Marcus Mariota and Gerald McCoy suffered serious injuries. It is not known if that is the case for the latter trio, though Good’s prognosis provides an ominous sign here. McCoy was carted off the field Monday night.

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Colts Won’t Pursue QB Trade

The Colts may be without Carson Wentz for the foreseeable future, but that doesn’t mean the team will pursue a trade. Chris Mortensen reports (via Twitter) that Indy won’t be making a trade for the likes of Nick Foles, Gardner Minshew, or Marcus Mariota.

[RELATED: Carson Wentz To Have Surgery, Out 5-12 Weeks]

The reporter notes that Wentz could begin rehabbing his foot after two weeks and “hasn’t been ruled out” for Week 1 (although he admits this is an optimistic timeline). Mortensen opines that if the “relatively safe surgery and rehab” happens to go awry, then the team could reconsider a trade for a quarterback. The organization did provide a rather wide timeline for Wentz’s return, with head coach Frank Reich suggesting that the recent acquisition could be back within five to 12 weeks. The early side of that timeline could see Wentz on the field against the Seahawks to begin the year.

Following news of Wentz’s impending foot surgery, we learned that the Colts wouldn’t be pursuing a trade for Foles, who’s currently buried on the Bears depth chart. It makes sense that the sentiment would apply to other signal callers; Minshew and Mariota wouldn’t be available for cheap, and the Colts front office probably isn’t willing to give up assets for what could end up being a backup.

With Wentz temporarily sidelined, the Colts will instead move ahead with their collection of backups. 2020 fourth-round pick Jacob Eason should see a larger role, although it’s worth noting that the quarterback has barely seen the field in three of the past four years (including his time in college). The Colts also recently added Brett Hundley, but the veteran hasn’t started a game since he went 3-6 in nine games with the Packers in 2017.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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