The NFL trade deadline is right around the corner.
We're seven weeks into the season and teams with holes to fill have until November 3rd to fix anything they can via the trade market.
One player that continues to be brought up as rumors swirl is Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Marcus Mariota.
The former Oregon Duck has yet to play a game this season, dealing with numerous injuries, but was finally activated by the Raiders this week.
Now healthy, could Mariota help a team in need? Of course he could.
Teams like the Bears, Washington Football Team, Cowboys, and Jets could use help at quarterback.
Mariota could go to those teams and likely be the starter, or he can stay in Las Vegas and remain the backup.
A trade may make sense for Mariota, but it doesn't make sense for the Raiders.
The most important position in football is the starting quarterback. The second most important? His backup.
In Mariota, the Raiders have one of the most talented backup quarterbacks in the league.
While he may be expensive for a backup (he signed a two-year, $17.6 million contract with the Raiders over the summer), he is worth every penny.
You're not paying for instant production, you're paying a premium for insurance.
You never know when you will need your backup to step in to save the game or the season, or just to keep the team afloat.
Just this season alone:
- The 49ers have won a game with backup Nick Mullens starting for the injured Jimmy Garoppolo.
- The Bears have gone 2-1 with Nick Foles as their starter and came back to win a game in Week 3 when he was subbed in for the struggling Mitchell Trubisky.
- The Cowboys have had to turn to backup Andy Dalton to fill in for the injured Dak Prescott.
- The Chargers turned to rookie Justin Herbert in Week 2 after Tyrod Taylor was injured, and Herbert hasn't let go of the starting job.
- By Week 5, the Washington Football Team had to promote Kyle Allen to starter following a falling out with Dwayne Haskins.
These are just some of the backups that have been relied upon this season. But this season is no outlier. History shows that a talented backup quarterback can change your fortunes.
In 1991, Joe Montana missed the season due to injury so the 49ers turned to his backup of four seasons, Steve Young. The 49ers missed the playoffs that season but their former backup would lead them to a Super Bowl victory three seasons later in Super Bowl XXIX.
In 1999, the Rams lost starting quarterback Trent Green in the preseason and had to hand the keys to backup Kurt Warner. Warner lit the league on fire and led the Rams to a Super Bowl victory that season.
In 2001, the Patriots lost starting quarterback Drew Bledsoe in the second game of the season and fell to 0-2. In walked Tom Brady. Brady rescued the season, led the Patriots to the Super Bowl that season, defeated Warner and the Rams, and started one of the greatest dynasties in NFL history.
In 2017, Nick Foles took the reins from an injured Carson Wentz in Week 14 and led the Eagles to an improbable victory in Super Bowl LII, winning Super Bowl MVP along the way.
The point is, you never know when the No.2 on the depth chart needs to be the No.1, and when it does happen, you want someone you have faith in. Someone who can keep the train rolling.
If your quarterback were injured would you rather hand the ball to Mariota or John Wolford?
One has 13,207 passing yards and 76 touchdowns for his career, the other has played three seasons in the NFL and has yet to officially attempt a pass.
One is the backup in Las Vegas, the other is the backup in Los Angeles.
The Raiders are currently 3-3, sit in second place in the AFC West, and still have a very realistic chance of making the playoffs.
If starting quarterback Derek Carr goes down, you don't want the season to go down with him.
The Raiders are in a great position with Mariota as the backup, and it's in their best interest to keep it that way.
Be sure to listen to the latest Talkin' Ducks podcast with host Jordan Kent