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My thoughts on Marcus Mariota’s return to Las Vegas Raiders

It’s the best case scenario for the Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers v Las Vegas Raiders
Marcus Mariota
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The only real Las Vegas Raiders news to break while I was out the past two days while having eye surgery (it worked!) was their expected restructured contract of backup quarterback Marcus Mariota, keeping him with the team in 2021.

Let’s look at some key aspects of the deal.

It’s great for the Raiders:
The Raiders remained patient with Mariota and it paid off. They held onto him with a drive-up trade market and now keep him at just over $3 million for this year. They received about $7 million in cap room and will be able to add a couple of more free agents in the second and third phases of free agency because of it.

Plus, Mariota is a good player as he showed when he took over for an injured Derek Carr in Week 15 against the Los Angeles Chargers. He is a solid backup. There’s no down sides to this deal for Las Vegas.

It’s the reality of the 2021 salary-cap:
It’s not great for Mariota as he took a big pay cut. But he does like playing in Las Vegas and he did get a no-trade clause, so he does dictate his 2021 season before heading to free agency. Times are tough this year with a tight salary cap and backups took a hit. Next year, Mariota’s market should be more robust, especially if he plays well again if given the opportunity.

Las Vegas Raiders v Atlanta Falcons
Nathan Peterman
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Is 2021 Raiders’ quarterback room set?
The Raiders are paying Carr, Mariota and Nathan Peterman this season. You would think this is their quarterback group again. They could draft a quarterback in the mid-to-late rounds, but they may hold off a year.

This is a good thing for the Raiders. It’s as simple as that.