Quarterback movement will be the talk of the NFL offseason. Many teams are either looking for a new signal-caller or looking to get rid of the one they already have. Many thought Jon Gruden and the Las Vegas Raiders would make a move a quarterback when the Raiders hired him.
Gruden’s affinity for bringing in his own quarterbacks for his offensive system is well known. He didn’t bring in Derek Carr; he inherited him. However, he did bring in Marcus Mariota, the backup quarterback. After all this time, it looks like Gruden and the Raiders are finally ready to explore the trade market for their quarterback.
Derek Carr played well during the 2020 NFL season
Going into the season, it was on Derek Carr to prove to Gruden that he can handle his offense and be successful. Trade rumors were swirling around Carr since Chuckie came to the Raiders, as it wasn’t sure if he was the one Gruden wanted to lead the offense. After his performance in 2020, Carr looks more than ready to run Gruden’s offense.
He threw for a career-high 4,103 yards while completing 67% of his passes in 2020 per ESPN. His 27 touchdown passes were just outside of the top 10. He showed more consistency this year, which is what Gruden was looking for from the former Fresno State Bulldog. He utilized rising star Darren Waller at the tight end spot. Waller turned into Carr’s favorite target, putting together a 1,000-yard season.
Even though Carr played reasonably well, it didn’t translate to the entire team. Inconsistent play plagued the team the entire season, as they finished the 2020 campaign 8-8. The defense was the issue, but there were moments where Carr and the offense fell short. Nevertheless, Gruden had to feel good about how Carr took command of Las Vegas’ offense.
Marcus Mariota also got some playing time. He came in for Carr when he injured his groin against the Los Angeles Chargers. He played well, throwing for 226 yards and a touchdown, keeping the team in the game. Even though both quarterbacks showed promise in Gruden’s system, the team is now open to trading one of them.
The Las Vegas Raiders are open to trading Marcus Mariota
Las Vegas has been making some subtle quarterback moves since their season ended. They signed Nathan Peterman to a one-year contract to stay with the team. Many might not see this as much, but it is. This move signifies that the team is looking to move one of their more expensive players.
Gruden and the Raiders are open to trading one of the quarterbacks, and it’s not Derek Carr. According to Albert Breer, the Raiders told him “pretty emphatically that Carr isn’t available.” However, the team is open to trading Mariota. “The Raiders will listen on Mariota, and he could be the sort of project that could intrigue a team looking for a quarterbacking bargain,” per Breer.
This is a big piece of news. Gruden brought in Mariota last season, as he has been a fan of his since coming out of college. Many thought that he could give Carr some competition for the starting quarterback spot. Carr’s play this past season put stopped all of the speculations, as it seems the Raiders are committing to him as their quarterback of the future.
One of the reasons the Raiders are shopping Mariota is because of his contract. There is no dead money, which is great for the team if they find a trade partner. He is still under contract for 2021. For next season, the $10.1 million he’s due is nonguaranteed. They could get a reasonable return for Mariota if they find a team interested in his services.
Marcus Mariota’s football future
With the Las Vegas Raiders now shopping him around, the future for Mariota’s football career is quite promising. He is 27-years old, showing in a limited sample size that he could perform in the NFL. His mobility might be the most attractive part of his game because of how the league is trending toward more agile quarterbacks.
Many teams have question marks at quarterback, so the Raiders should get some calls about Mariota. It would be interesting what Las Vegas’ asking price would be for a player like Mariota. He’s been a decent starter before but hasn’t started since Week 6 of the 2019 season with the Tennessee Titans. Given his talent, he could be worth a third-rounder to a quarterback-needy team.
It’s quite ironic that Mariota is in this position. In 2019, he lost his starting job to Ryan Tannehill in what was a career revival for him. One year later, he is in a similar place Tannehill was at. He is looking to revive his career with a new team. The Washington Football Team should be one of the teams inquiring about Mariota. The New England Patriots are also a team that could use Mariota.
The Las Vegas Raiders are open to trading their quarterback, just not the one many expected. Derek Carr played well enough for Gruden and the team to commit to him for one more year. Marcus Mariota could be on the way out, looking to revive his career as a starter.