Marcus Mariota doesn’t really have a track to starting at quarterback with the Las Vegas Raiders since Derek Carr continues providing quality play as the field general in coach Jon Gruden’s offense.
As a result of this situation, Mariota has been among the most buzzed-about signal-callers this offseason when it comes to trade rumors. QB-needy teams could look to acquire Mariota to either bring competition to their quarterback rooms or be a starter for at least the 2021 season.
Below we’ll examine the five new teams who are a perfect fit for Mariota to land with.
Marcus Mariota to Washington Football Team
With the recent buzz out of the nation’s capital suggesting Alex Smith‘s days are numbered with the Football Team, the only incumbent option on Washington’s roster at the most important position on the field Is Taylor Heinicke, who signed a two-year contract extension after a solid playoff start.
The notion of playing for a reigning division champion with an obvious opportunity to start should appeal to Mariota. He’d be traded out of conference to the NFC, be supported by an excellent defense, and the Football Team would plug an obvious hole with a seasoned veteran who has experience in numerous offensive systems and has the talent of a former No. 2 overall pick.
Since Washington isn’t picking until 19th in the 2021 NFL Draft, it’d be unrealistic to either trade up high enough to select a top QB prospect, or to believe the next long-term answer under center would fall that far in the proceedings.
Even if he’s not a decade-long answer, Mariota is a great stopgap solution while the Football Team figures everything out. It’s worth noting Mariota is in a contract year, so he can also decide whether or not Washington is a good long-term fit for him depending on how 2021 would play out if the two sides joined forces.
Smith mounted an amazing comeback last season and guided the team to a 5-1 record despite obvious physical limitations and lackluster stats. With Mariota at the controls, he’d have Terry McLaurin out wide, Logan Thomas at tight end and two pass-catching backs in Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic to rely on.
Plus, Mariota would free up the Football Team to land either a high-priced playmaker in free agency, or use their first-round pick on a stud receiver prospect. Any added weaponry to go with Mariota’s presence in the huddle would cement Washington’s status as NFC East favorites.
Marcus Mariota to Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers have given Ben Roethlisberger a deadline to restructure his contract by March 17. When he does this, Big Ben won’t be the prohibitive salary cap hit of over $41 million he’s counted as right now, which will free up enough funds for Pittsburgh to pursue someone like Mariota.