Former Raiders QB Strikes Deal With Commanders: Report

marcus mariota

Getty Former Las Vegas Raiders QB Marcus Mariota.

Former Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Marcus Mariota has found another new home. After a season with the Philadelphia Eagles, the veteran quarterback is staying in the NFC East.

According to a March 12 X post from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Mariota is signing a one-year, $6 million contract with the Washington Commanders.

Mariota has fallen a long way since being the No. 2 pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. He’s now joining his fifth NFL franchise. The Commanders hold the No. 2 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft and they will likely use it on a quarterback. Mariota is a veteran who could help shepherd whoever the rookie quarterback ends up being.

However, it’s unlikely the Commanders will have any intention of having him start. Mariota had a chance at a starting job with the Atlanta Falcons in 2022 and it was a disaster. He started 13 games and went 5-8 before getting benched. He did throw 15 touchdowns to just nine interceptions but he wasn’t effective.

Mariota’s days as a starter are likely over but he has upside as a backup. His ability to make plays with his legs makes him at least somewhat dangerous if he has to come in and play. Mariota will likely be third on the depth chart behind Sam Howell and whichever rookie Washington ends up drafting.

Las Vegas Raiders Receive Grade for Gardner Minshew Signing

Similar to the Commanders, the Raiders are in quarterback limbo right now and could draft one in April. However, the team did sign a solid stopgap option in Gardner Minshew. While the $25 million price tag the team is paying for Minshew is a little rich for a backup, he’ll provide a safety net if Las Vegas can’t draft the quarterback they want.

Brad Spielberger of Pro Football Focus gave the Raiders a “B” grade for the signing.

“The Raiders get a respectable bridge starter in the fold but need to actually add the other end of the bridge, with the No. 13 pick currently burning a hole in their pocket,” Spielberger wrote in a March 12 column. “They’ll be battling the No. 11 overall pick Minnesota Vikings and No. 12 overall pick Denver Broncos to move up for a quarterback, it appears. Nonetheless, Minshew salvaged the Colts’ season and earned this contract despite his capped ceiling.”

The Raiders can only go so far with Minshew but he’s good enough to keep them interesting. He went 7-6 as a starter for the Indianapolis Colts last season and the team was close to making the playoffs.

Las Vegas Raiders Done Adding QBs Before Draft?

Jimmy Garoppolo is likely to get cut soon so Gardner Minshew and Aidan O’Connell will be the Raiders quarterbacks under contract. The team is still expected to target the position in the draft. Regardless, they’ll almost certainly go into the offseason with at least three quarterbacks on the roster.

It’s possible that the team could add another veteran. Justin Fields is still sitting out there and the price to trade for him should be decreasing every day. The Raiders will likely shift their focus elsewhere until the draft. No sense in adding too many veteran quarterbacks right now when there will be options still available after the draft.

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