NFL Rumors: Raiders Could Sign Marcus Mariota As Derek Carr’s Backup, ‘The Athletic’ Suggests

After a five-year run with the Tennessee Titans that ended with him getting demoted to second-string duty behind Ryan Tannehill, former No. 2 overall draft pick Marcus Mariota will be entering unrestricted free agency in the 2020 NFL offseason. However, the latest rumors suggest that he might have to settle for a similar role on another team — assuming the Las Vegas Raiders sign him as a backup to erstwhile starting quarterback Derek Carr.

Quoting a report from Vic Tafur of subscriber-only publication The Athletic, Heavy wrote on Saturday that the Raiders, who will be playing their first season in Las Vegas later this year, might consider making upgrades at quarterback, with the likes of Tom Brady, Philip Rivers, Jameis Winston, and Teddy Bridgewater among the available names. But with Carr still under contract amid rampant trade rumors, Tafur also discussed the possibility of the Raiders revamping their backup quarterback rotation and signing someone such as Mariota to come off the bench.

“Marcus Mariota is an interesting name as far as a potential backup for Carr who might have some [Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Nick] Foles-type upside. DeShone Kizer and Mike Glennon are not expected to return to the Raiders, and Nathan Peterman is still in the project phase.”

As explained by Heavy, Glennon was not impressive in brief appearances for the Raiders during their final season in Oakland, while Kizer did not compile any statistics as the team’s third-stringer. This could open the door for Mariota, who had started for the Titans for four-and-a-half seasons before Tannehill took over as their starting signal-caller, but had mostly struggled during his time in Tennessee. Still, the publication opined that the former Oregon Ducks standout could be a “very competent” backup for Carr, given the fact he was selected right after first-overall pick Winston in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Regarding the possibility that Carr may be on his way out of Las Vegas and either traded to another team or supplanted by a potential free-agent pickup such as Brady, The Athletic‘s Tafur was cited as saying that there’s a 65 percent chance the former Fresno State star will keep his job and stay with the organization.

Tafur is not the only NFL insider who believes that Mariota could be headed to the Raiders in this year’s free agency period. Last week, USA Today‘s Titans Wire quoted ESPN’s veteran draft analyst, Mel Kiper, who said on the First Draft podcast that the 26-year-old signal-caller could possibly play behind Carr in Las Vegas and maybe even take over as the starter at some point in the future.

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