With the Super Bowl done and dusted, it is that time of the year when trade rumors swirl around like wind inside a mailbox. One of the most persistent is that the Las Vegas Raiders will trade away one of their two quarterbacks, Derek Carr or Marcus Mariota.
Head coach John Gruden is a wise old head at dealing in big trade deals and it is clear he feels his Raiders team need help in other areas of the team. Carr or Mariota, it seems, will be the makeweight in any deal to achieve that aim.
Speculation had been rife over the last few weeks that it would be Carr to be the one to make way. However, in recent days, it now seems a number of teams in the NFL, aware of the Raiders interest to deal, could be interested in Mariota instead.
Carr, meanwhile, seems set to stay with the Raiders, after unconfirmed reports that John Gruden has decided to keep faith with the quarterback.
The Raiders starter threw for 4103 yards last season, hitting 27 touchdowns and just 9 interceptions, the best figures of his career.
Mariota Interest Grows
However, while the Raiders are making noises that Carr is off the trade block, there are growing rumours within NFL circles that Marcus Mariota may well be the man who gets traded.
The former Oregon Ducks quarterback was taken second in the 2015 NFL Draft by the Tennessee Titans, before securing a move to Oakland after five years with the Titans.
He was released in 2020 by the Titans after losing the starter’s role to Ryan Tannehill midway through the 2019 season.
The interest in Mariota stems from a very solid performance when backing up an injured Carr on Week 15 in a loss to the Chargers. He completed 17 of 28 passes for 226 yards and a touchdown, as well as rushing nine times for 88 yards and another touchdown.
The Raiders know they are on the peg for Mariota’s salary of $10.625 million in 2021 and that is another reason why a trade may make sense for the Vegas team.
After a solid year backing up Carr and performing well when called upon, it seems a number of teams are viewing Mariota as a potential starter for them this coming season. So where is it possible that Mariota could end up playing next season?
Possible Destinations For The Former Duck?
A number of NFL teams have a real need at quarterback at present and would make a logical landing spot for Mariota.
- New England Patriots – With the Cam Newton experiment now over, Bill Belichick may well be ready to move onto another quarterback that is mobile, can run but who showed last season a greater degree of passing acumen. The Patriots are a name that keeps cropping up in this discussion and it is likely the rumors have credence.
- Chicago Bears – Although possibly linked with a move for Carson Wentz from the Eagles, the Bears have also been named as a potential landing spot for Mariota. However, Wentz would be markedly more expensive than Mariota and is not as mobile, something the starting quarterback in Chicago may need next year with that porous offensive line. Mariota landing in the Windy City also makes a lot of sense.
- Indianapolis Colts – A former Titan at the Colts? It could happen. With Philip Rivers officially retired the Colts are reliant on Jacoby Brissett at the moment. Mariota would be an upgrade over the current quarterback. The Colts are being heavily linked with Wentz too, and that may make more sense for this team, but Mariota would be a good option if they can’t land the Eagles quarterback.
In return, the Raiders are believed to want either a combination of players, most likely on defense, or a third-round draft pick for their back-up quarterback.