The Las Vegas Raiders didn’t make a splash at quarterback in free agency like many predicted, but they did add an interesting backup in Marcus Mariota. The former number two overall pick was benched last season and Ryan Tannehill outperformed him. Mariota still has upside but should be a backup for the time being.
According to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, the Raiders are giving the quarterback a decent payday.
The deal is also loaded with a number of interesting incentives.
There are many out there who would like to see Derek Carr lose the starting job, but the deal the Raiders gave Mariota shouldn’t give them that much ammo. $7.5 million guaranteed for one season is not a ton of money for a quarterback. What this deal shows is that Mariota thinks he could win the starting job at some point. If he doesn’t, he’s not going to make much money. The Raiders and Mariota could easily part ways after the first season.
Mariota could make up to $47.5 million on this deal, but that’s only going to happen if he becomes the starter. Carr should watch his back, but it doesn’t mean Mariota is taking his job.
Derek Carr Will Be the Starter in 2020
Like it or not, Derek Carr will head into training camp as the starter. Many have soured on the veteran quarterback after a couple of lackluster seasons, but Mariota has been much worse. Carr also has a very strong grasp of Jon Gruden’s offense at this point and it’s going to take Mariota some time to catch on. Also, Carr wasn’t nearly as bad last season as some want to believe. No, he’s not perfect and needs to make more plays with his feet. It would also be a sight for sore eyes if he threw the ball down the field more often. That said, we’ve seen his ceiling and it’s very high.
Mariota is very athletic and can make a lot of plays with his feet. However, in his last three seasons, he has thrown 31 touchdowns to 25 interceptions. Those definitely aren’t starter numbers. He could find new life playing for Gruden, but that’s far from a sure thing. Carr will be the least safe he’s ever been and that should concern him. Hopefully, he’ll rise to the challenge and return to MVP form.
Follow the Heavy Las Vegas Raiders page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
Nelson Agholor Get ‘Prove It’ Deal
One deal that shouldn’t turn many heads is the one the Raiders gave Nelson Agholor. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, Agholor is getting one year with a little more than $1 million.
The former first-round pick hasn’t been consistent as a starting wide receiver, but he could be a big asset in the return game. It appears the Raiders are going to let Dwayne Harris walk, so they have a need at kick/punt returner. This is a very low-risk contract to give Agholor. He still holds first-round upside. If he can fix his drops issues, he could find a role in the receiving game, also.