With so many other needs on the roster, the Las Vegas Raiders can’t afford to pay both Derek Carr and Marcus Mariota. Spending over $10 million on a backup quarterback isn’t a good move and the team will likely make a trade this offseason. Carr is unquestionably the more valuable of the two but the Raiders don’t sound too keen on letting him go.
That would mean Mariota could be on the block. His value wasn’t very high after getting benched in 2019 to Ryan Tannehill but teams appear to be a little higher on him now. The former No. 2 overall pick played in one game against the Los Angeles Chargers for the Raiders in 2020 and looked impressive. That one game may have piqued the interest of teams desperate for quarterbacks around the NFL. According to former NFL executive Michael Lombardi, the Washington Football Team is one to keep an eye on.
“There are a lot of conversations about Marcus Mariota getting traded. I know there is one team in the NFC East, the Washington Football Team, that is extremely interested in Mariota,” Lombardi reported on the VSiN Network recently.
“Mariota’s problem is simply this. He is due to make $10 million this year,” he added. “If you trade for that contract and you make him your starter, that contract becomes $20 million because he has so many incentives in that contract. So it’s going to be very challenging for you to trade for him without re-doing that contract.”
$10 million for Mariota is a steal if he’s your starter and he plays well. However, $20 million is a ton of money for him unless he plays at a Pro Bowl-level.
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WFT Could Use a QB
With Alex Smith heading towards the end of his career and Dwayne Haskins cut during the season, Washington has issues at quarterback. Taylor Heinicke was impressive in his lone playoff game last season but it’s doubtful that he’s the answer at quarterback.
Mariota isn’t the superstar that many were hoping he’d be out of college. However, he’s a guy who can make plays with his arm and feet. He’s been dealing with injuries for years but he finally had a chance to get his body right during his first season with the Raiders. He’d be an upgrade over what Washington currently has.
What Would Raiders Want in Trade?
Thanks to his contract, the Raiders shouldn’t expect too much of a return for Mariota. He’s not about to get them a first-round pick or anything. That said, even if they got a sixth-round pick, it would be a good return on investment. If Russell Wilson, Carson Wentz and Deshaun Watson don’t get traded, teams with a need at quarterback will become a lot needier.
That could add to Mariota’s value. His ceiling for value is probably a third-round pick. The Raiders should be pretty happy if they can get that. If Las Vegas decides to deal with Washington, they should take a look at some of their defensive players. Ron Rivera and Jack Del Rio developed a strong defense in 2020. The Raiders need defensive help a lot more than they need a backup quarterback. They should see if Washington would be willing to trade a player like Daron Payne or Tim Settle.