Mariota understands role as a backup QB, knows he has more to prove


After a lot of speculation this offseason, former Oregon QB Marcus Mariota remains a member of the Las Vegas Raiders. 

Mariota restructured his contract, which will pay him $3.5M this season. 

And while he remains a backup, the former No. 2 overall pick and Heisman winner is out to prove he can be a starter once again. 

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast!]

"My vision's always been to be a starter and to be successful at that position. That has not changed, even in the circumstances that I'm in right now," Mariota told Curtis Murayama of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. 

I understand my role, I understand that I am a key component to Derek's success. I have to help him, support him in every way that I can. But that doesn't mean that I can't get better, (or ) I can't learn. ... I know that I have an opportunity to get better and work with a really awesome offensive staff. I'll be able to grow in that sense. So at the end of the day, my goal is always to be a starter and to be successful at it. I'm working towards that.

Marcus Mariota

Mariota was once viewed by the Tennessee Titans as their franchise quarterback.

But injuries plagued Mariota through his time in Tennessee. And when coaching changes happened, his playing time went down, as well.

He lost his starting job to Ryan Tannehll six games into the 2019 season.

After that, the Titans did not re-sign Mariota back to the team.

As a free agent, Mariota found a new home with the Raiders and signed a two-year deal for $17.6 million to be Carr’s backup.

He was the highest paid back-up in the NFL last season and was called into action on December 17th against the LA Chargers after Carr suffered a groin injury during the game. 

In that game, Mariota had 226 passing yards and rushed for 88 yards in the Raiders 30-27 overtime loss.


After the game, NFL twitter went crazy and said that Mariota deserves to be a starter again in the NFL.

When the season was over, Mariota was rumored to be traded, but the incentives in his contract were an obstacle. 

Now, Mariota is in the final year of his contract with the chance to make an impression as a starter and prove he's worthy of the opportunity.

"If there's an opportunity elsewhere, I'm going to go out there and take it, " said Mariota, who has a no-trade clause in his contract. "If a team wants to take a chance on me, great. I'll be ready to go."

Even if Mariota doesn’t play this year, it seems that he is ready to take up any challenge and embrace change when it is necessary.

It will be exciting to see what Mariota is going to do in the future knowing that he finally has his confidence back.