Raiders Sign Ex-49ers Starting Quarterback: Report

nick mullens

Getty New Las Vegas Raiders QB Nick Mullens.

Derek Carr isn’t going anywhere but the Las Vegas Raiders still had a need for a capable backup quarterback. Marcus Mariota signed with the Atlanta Falcons and Nathan Peterman will likely play elsewhere this season. The team signed Garrett Gilbert but his lack of game experience meant that he would likely be the third quarterback on the depth chart.

There were still solid options in free agency like Cam Newton and Ryan Fitzpatrick but the Raiders went in a different direction. According to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, the team has signed Nick Mullens to the roster.

Mullens isn’t a splash signing but he does have more game experience than Gilbert. He’s even started a good chunk of games. He came into the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers and spent four years with the team. Over the course of those four seasons, he started 16 games. He only went 5-11 in those 16 starts and threw 26 touchdowns to 22 interceptions. Those aren’t great numbers but he’s proven that he can run an offense in an emergency.

ALL the latest Raiders news straight to your inbox! Subscribe to the Heavy on Raiders newsletter here!

Join Heavy on Raiders!

Mullens Has Played Well vs. Raiders

Perhaps the team that Mullens has had the most success against is the Raiders. He had one start against them in 2018 and lit them up. The 49ers beat the Raiders 34-3 and Mullens threw for 262 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. It was one of the worst losses of that season for the silver and black.

The Raiders had another chance against Mullens last season when he was thrust into starting duties while with the Cleveland Browns. He almost pulled off the upset as his team lost 16-14. He wasn’t as effective as he only threw one touchdown but didn’t throw any interceptions. He doesn’t have a ton of upside but he also doesn’t make a ton of mistakes. Barring any more moves at quarterback this offseason, Mullens should be the favorite to be Carr’s primary backup this upcoming season.

No More ‘Mariota Package’

With the signing of Mullens, the Raiders are showing that they’ve moved on from doing any kind of “Mariota Package.” Last season, the team would put Mariota on the field for certain packages that would usually be a run-pass option. It was a creative way to utilize the hyper-athletic backup quarterback. The Raiders made a change at head coach this offseason by hiring Josh McDaniels. He’s a creative offensive mind so he could’ve seen what the team did last season and tried his own version.

However, Mullens and Gilbert aren’t exactly Mariota when it comes to athleticism. Had the Raiders signed somebody like Newton, then a “Newton Package” would’ve been a talking point this offseason. McDaniels has gone in a different direction for now. The “Mariota Package” had limited success last season and the Raiders didn’t use it often. It’s not a surprise that McDaniels isn’t very interested. There are other ways the coach will get creative as the Patriots’ offense was never dull with him at the helm.

READ NEXT: Packers HC Sends Strong Message on New Raiders WR Davante Adams

Read More