Raiders quarterback Marcus Mariota is due $10.725 million for the 2021 NFL season, but the organization is hoping he'll agree to take a lot less.
The Raiders have asked Mariota to take a pay cut down to just $3 million for the upcoming season or they will try to trade or release him, NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported Thursday morning citing league sources.
It would be a cut of over $7 million for Mariota, and he isn't likely to accept, NFL Media's Mike Garafolo reported Thursday.
Mariota spent the 2020 season as Derek Carr's backup for the Raiders, playing in just one game after Carr left early with an injured groin. Mariota completed 17 of 28 passes for 226 yards, with a touchdown and an interception. The dual-threat QB also added 88 rushing yards and a touchdown in that loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.
He was the NFL's highest-paid backup in 2020, but if he feels he can make more than $3 million on the open market, it wouldn't make much sense to take a significant salary decrease to stay with the Raiders.
However, the league's salary cap reduction has kept most teams from being big spenders in free agency so far, as a number of high-value players remain available at premium positions.
The 2014 Heisman Trophy winner is one of the league's faster signal-callers, and might appeal to a team seeking a dual-threat backup. But we'll find out soon whether there indeed is a market for the QB who once was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.
The Raiders also reportedly came to terms with tight end Derek Carrier, bringing him back to the organization for a fourth consecutive year.