While reports circulated Wednesday that the trade market for Marcus Mariota had “dried up significantly,” that doesn’t mean he will be back in a Las Vegas Raiders uniform next season.
According to our official betting partner, PointsBet, Mariota remains a +325 favorite to be the New England Patriots starting QB in Week 1.
Last year’s starter in New England, Cam Newton, as well as 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, and Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick all trail Mariota with +500 odds to take the first snap for the Patriots in Week 1.
Mariota’s contract has become a sticking point in trade talks as of late, as NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported this week.
“Take a look at his contract,” Rapoport said. “He's due a little more than $10 million this year. If he's going to be a bridge starter, which would be the role he'd come in and play, that's not bad. That's actually not the issue.
"The issue is based on incentives. If he is the starter and ends up playing the entire season, he can make an additional $12 million, so more than $20 million for Marcus Mariota. Teams, as of right now, don't seem to think that's something that would be worth it, especially when you consider they'd also give up a draft pick to trade for him. That trade market has now dried up significantly."
Mariota is set to make a base salary of $10.625 million with a cap number of $11.35 million, but incentives in the contract could more than double his compensation if he became a starter for Las Vegas for the entire 2021 season.
But the prospect of the former Oregon product suiting up as the Raiders starting quarterback in 2021 continues to dwindle as reports circulate of the possibility of Las Vegas giving Derek Carr a contract extension this offseason. The team has already re-signed Nathan Peterman.
If the Raiders are unable to find a trade partner for Mariota, that doesn’t necessarily spell bad news for the former Heisman Trophy winner. He could end up picking his own team in 2021 and negotiate his future contract.
With Newton set to hit free agency after playing on a one-year deal in New England and Jarrett Stidham under contract for 2021, the Patriots quarterback situation is in dire need of being solved. They could search in this year’s draft for a young, talented replacement by trading up.
Or they could do as Vegas insiders say, bring Mariota to New England. The quarterback carousel is certainly worth watching as the new league year and free agency inches closer.