In the first day of the legal tampering period, the Las Vegas Raiders reached an agreement with quarterback Marcus Mariota. The details of the contract were unknown for a week, but now that they have come out, it’s safe to say the Silver and Black got themselves a good deal.
There was a lot of talk about the Raiders shopping Derek Carr, Tom Brady playing in Las Vegas and even arch nemesis Philip Rivers being signed. At the end, signing Mariota has been the closest to a meaningful transaction related to the quarterback position the team has made and the move comes with some interesting undertones.
#Raiders gave Marcus Mariota a two-year, $17.6 million deal that includes $7.5m in the first year as a fully-guaranteed base salary.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 23, 2020
By The Numbers…
First, it can be argued that $7.5 million as a fully guaranteed salary is too steep a price, but the Raiders needed a competent backup and the good ones are worth what Mariota got. It also can be said that Las Vegas should’ve allocated that money to other areas, but teams are better served if their backup never sees the field; it’s an insurance kind of thing, you pay for it while hoping you will never need it.
If Mariota ends up playing, it will be because Carr was either injured or ineffective and the best case scenario is the 2015 second overall draft pick takes over at quarterback and turns the Raiders into contenders. He has the financial incentives to do so if given a chance. Meanwhile, the worst that can happen is he manages not to embarrass himself, feeds the ball to Josh Jacobs and serves as a place holder awaiting for another more competent player to take back the starting gig.
Carr isn’t safe… Yet
On the other hand, Carr is not safe yet and will be the incumbent until he isn’t. Mariota’s main role will be that of a backup and he would make Carr an afterthought only if he plays lights out. Otherwise, he’ll be back in the bench or with another team once the season is over. However, nothing is stopping the Raiders from selecting a quarterback early in the upcoming draft, as Jalen Hurts has been linked to the Raiders.
Mariota is set to have a minimal impact and probably isn’t the quarterback Derek Carr should be watching his back from. Now, a high round pick? That’s a different matter.
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