Marcus Mariota is a member of the Las Vegas Raiders, for now.
The former Oregon Ducks quarterback holds a $10.75 million to $22 million cap hit in 2021 depending on what incentives get reached, so while teams are interested, it seems more likely the Raiders will cut him to sign other players.
One of the teams that may compete for his services on the open market? The Philadelphia Eagles, at least according to The Athletic’s Ben Standig.
"Who is the best bet? That’s a question most around the league cannot or are unsure how to answer," wrote Standig when speculating on which quarterback the Washington Football Team will start next season.
"Darnold offers the most intrigue, among personnel executives contacted by The Athletic, but Mariota and Winston have fans. Of those three, Mariota has the best chance to change teams, perhaps within the next week or at least before free agency opens later this month. And, while Philadelphia wouldn’t seem like an obvious landing spot — Jalen Hurts remains, and Mariota and Carson Wentz are repped by the same agency — one prominent league source said to keep an eye on the Eagles if Mariota is traded or released."
The Eagles coincidentally were the team most linked to Mariota during the draft process with former Oregon head coach Chip Kelly making personnel decisions in Philly.
Now, with an entirely new regime, the move could make some sense. Jalen Hurts has just a $1,369,357 cap hit in 2021 so signing a veteran to compete with Mariota would mean the Eagles are still below average in quarterback spending despite two decent options behind center. At least with who is on the roster, Carson Wentz still holds a $33.8 million deadcap penalty on Philadelphia's books so anyone else brought in at quarterback must be cheap, whether it be a rookie with the sixth overall pick or a cheaper veteran.
Considering Mariota's current contract has deterred teams from trading for him, he will likely be taking a paycut of some sort in 2021 whether it be on maximum salary or base salary remains to be seen. Washington reportedly stopped trying to trade for Mariota due to the volatility of his contract.
Last offseason, Mariota agreed to a two-year, $17.6 million deal with Las Vegas that had a first-year guarantee of $7.5 million with some incentives for playing time.
Per the details of his contract, Mariota’s cap number will be just above $10.7 million in 2021. That's an expensive rate for a backup quarterback, but his salary will nearly double if he reaches certain incentives. Should Mariota play over 60 percent of snaps in 12 games next season, the quarterback will earn an additional $7.85 million. Then for each victory Mariota leads his team to, he will earn an extra $156,250 with maximum win earnings of $1.8 million. Then, the incentives continue if Mariota makes the postseason. The 27-year-old will earn $250,000 for every postseason win, $1 million for making the Super Bowl, and $2 million for winning the title.