The Las Vegas Raiders signed Marcus Mariota to a two-year, $17.6 million contract last year. Given Derek Carr’s uneven play over the past few seasons and the organization’s clear-cut preference for just about any other quarterback, the move made sense at the time.
However, Carr inexplicably ended up putting together a very solid 2020 campaign. Much to everyone’s surprise he recorded 4,103 passing yards and a 101.4 passer rating that ranked 10th best in the NFL.
From a purely football standpoint, the urgency to move on from Carr dissipated. That in turn made Mariota a somewhat pricey, unused accessory.
Although Carr holds a $22.125 million salary cap number compared to Mariota’s $10.1 million, the Raiders seem content keeping him.
This week, The Athletic reported that Las Vegas was looking at dealing Mariota to the highest bidder.
Who will that highest bidder be? Many people believe the answer is the New England Patriots.
“Multiple sources, including one GM, told The Athletic the Raiders’ preference is to move Marcus Mariota and keep Carr, unless someone makes them a ridiculous offer for Carr,” the article noted. “Mariota has been mentioned as a possibility in New England, with the hope he could become for the Patriots what Ryan Tannehill has been for Mike Vrabel in Tennessee.”
Yikes. Not great. https://t.co/TbKcmHXfyt
— Game 7 (@game7__) February 9, 2021
Obviously the Patriots need a new starting quarterback with the Cam Newton Era coming to an end, so the move would make sense for all sides.
New England was the subject of much ridicule last year after the offense was left in shambles due to the departure of Tom Brady. At one point, opposing teams were literally mocking the Patriots.
Mariota wouldn’t necessarily take Bill Belichick’s squad to a Super Bowl-level, but pushing them to a Tennessee Titans-esque point certainly seems realistic.