Marcus Mariota won’t be on the Tennessee Titans’ roster next season.
That much we know.
But the former Oregon Duck will absolutely be on a NFL team next season.
Mariota just turned 26 in October. He has 61 career starts and a playoff win. He’s going to draw significant interest from NFL teams.
Will he get a starting gig? That’s impossible to know.
But Mariota could at least end up in a situation that has a path to starting, which is what Mel Kiper recently mentioned on the First Draft podcast.
Kiper suggested that Mariota could land in Las Vegas, which would create a situation similar to what the Titans had in 2019 with Tannehill and Mariota.
I’m not a Derek Carr believer at all. I don’t think he’s the answer for the Raiders. Carr puts up some nice numbers, but I just don’t think he has what it takes to lead a team to a championship. I’m not suggesting that Mariota has those traits either, but signing him would give Jon Gruden some insurance in case Carr falters.
Then again, maybe Mariota could rejuvenate his career on the west coast. If that happened, the Raiders could release Carr after 2020 and save around $40 million over the final two seasons of his contract. That could free them up to improve their roster in other ways while they search for a franchise quarterback.
For what it’s worth, Gruden has always been a big Mariota fan. In 2017, Gruden told Titans Online “I think he can be a great, front-line Pro Bowl quarterback in the league”.
Perhaps Mariota will hold out hope that someone signs him to be a starter next season.
But if a starting job just materialize, landing in Vegas could be a solid situation for the Hawaii native.
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