Marcus Mariota has gone to the dark side.
The Las Vegas Raiders’ newest quarterback showed off his classic silver and black uniform for the first time and it’s quickly growing on us.
Offensive weapons ready for action. ▶️ pic.twitter.com/lwfStZsaqT— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) August 4, 2020
Many fans of MariGOATa took to Twitter to praise the look.
The pose you make when for the first time in your nfl career your head coach says they want to utilize your unique skill set and let "Marcus Mariota be Marcus Mariota." pic.twitter.com/boX5JUeHm6— shane (@shanej9) August 4, 2020
📸 Marcus Mariota pic.twitter.com/hORR8F0pyR— Portal Raiders 🇧🇷 (@portalraiders) August 4, 2020
[Listen and download for free ‘Sports Uncovered: The uniform craze that revolutionized college football].
The former Oregon Duck signed with the Raiders this past offseason to become Derek Carr’s backup quarterback. But Mariota has been so impressive that many have been left wondering if the 2015 second-overall pick could break open the quarterback competition.
He’s earned high praise from his head coach so far.
“I’ve been impressed,” John Gruden told Raiders.com. “The number one thing with Marcus was to get healthy. He had a shoulder problem, an ankle problem, so it’s a real credit to him to get his injury rehab done during all of this social distancing. The distraction of finding a doctor, being safe, and he did a great job of getting himself healthy and learning the system.”
Carr is coming off a quietly stellar season in 2019. He had 4,054 yards passing and a 70.4 completion percentage, becoming just the third quarterback in NFL history to have 4,000 or more passing yards and a 70% or better completion rate in a single season, per NFL Research.
While Carr knows Mariota is a competitor, that doesn’t mean there’s a quarterback controversy between the two. The 29-year-old feels like he still has a lot to prove.
Me and Marcus get along great. We always have. I’ll tell you one thing; in our quarterback group you have to compete and that’s what I do. Anyone that’s around me, all I’m going to do is compete.
You can go through the list about who’s started games and who’s been in our quarterback room. It happens all the time, but when you go 7-9, people like to make up stuff. -- Carr told reporters on Tuesday
The Raiders heavily incentivized Mariota’s two-year contract which could pay off if the former Ducks star beats out Carr for the starting gig.
The deal, worth $17.6 million with the first year guaranteed, includes incentives such as $2.1 million if he plays more than 60% of the snaps in 2020 plus other performance and playing time-related bonuses that could double the overall value of the contract.
Mariota started four-straight seasons for the Tennessee Titans before being benched in Week 6 in favor of Ryan Tannehill, who led the Titans to the AFC championship game.
For now, the Raiders are Derek Carr’s team. But that won’t stop people from speculating whether or not 2020 is the year Mariota becomes fully rejuvenated in Las Vegas.
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