Current & Former Players Rip Raiders Over Marcus Mariota Situation

marcus mariota

Getty Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Marcus Mariota.

After a drawn-out process, the Las Vegas Raiders and Marcus Mariota have finally agreed to restructure the quarterback’s contract. The team was playing hardball and willing to wait Mariota out while potential starting quarterback gigs dried up. With options limited, the quarterback finally gave in and agreed to come back on a team-friendly contract.

It’s common for teams to do what they can to keep players they want. However, there were many current and former players who weren’t happy with how the Raiders treated Mariota.

At the end of the day, the NFL is a business and both players and teams make decisions that are best for them. Obviously, players will almost always side with other players. How the Raiders handled the Mariota situation was a little shrewd. They were the ones who decided to give the quarterback a contract that paid him over $10 million this upcoming season. However, Mariota didn’t make things easy when they tried to renegotiate the contract.

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Mariota Could’ve Taken Pay Cut Earlier & Got Traded

While it’s easy for players to take shots at the Raiders, Mariota and his camp aren’t blameless in this. There were a number of teams that had reported trade interest in him prior to free agency. The interested teams just didn’t want to pay Mariota the $21 million he would’ve been owed had he started the whole season.

“Marcus Mariota and his camp are refusing to tear up the final year of his deal, that calls for him to be a $10 million backup, or a $21 million starter,” Greg Bedard of the Boston Sports Journal reported earlier in the month.

Had Mariota been willing to renegotiate his deal, he might be in Washington, Chicago or New England with a strong shot at a starting job. Now that all of those teams appear to have temporary fixes for their quarterback situations right now, Mariota had no choice to rework his deal. He goes from being the NFL’s most expensive backup to a pretty reasonably priced backup.

Would Raiders Still Trade Mariota?

Now that Mariota’s contract is very reasonable, teams that had an interest in him prior could have interest once again. Washington is a team to keep an eye on. They signed Ryan Fitzpatrick, who isn’t exactly a superstar quarterback. Perhaps now that see that Mariota is affordable, they give a call to the Raiders. It’s also easy to see the Bears being underwhelmed with Andy Dalton or the Patriots with Cam Newton.

Mariota could be an upgrade over any of those three. However, the Raiders like having a capable backup. He was almost able to win the team a game when Derek Carr went down. They’re more than happy to keep him on as a backup in case anything happens to Carr. That said, Las Vegas might not be able to resist a third-round pick in return for Mariota. It’s hard to know how much he’s valued around the NFL at this point in his career but getting a third-rounder for a player who shouldn’t even play in 2021 isn’t a bad return on investment.

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