Mariota could be released this offseason, Vic Tafur of The Athletic reports. Mariota is scheduled for a non-guaranteed $10.625 million base salary in 2021 in the second season of his two-year contract. The Raiders might be interested in keeping him around as a backup QB, but probably not at that price. Mariota played well in his one 2020 appearance, piling up 226 passing yards, 88 rushing yards and two total TDs in a 30-27 loss to the Chargers in Week 15. He otherwise spent the season on the bench behind Derek Carr, who threw for 300 yards four times in the final five weeks.
Mariota didn't play any snaps Saturday in the Raiders' 26-25 loss to the Dolphins. Mariota initially seemed poised to make his first start with the Raiders when No. 1 quarterback Derek Carr suffered what was believed to be a significant groin injury in the Week 15 loss to the Chargers, but the latter ended up approaching Saturday's contest minus a designation after he surprisingly practiced in full capacity all week. Carr didn't suffer any in-game setbacks with the injury and threw for 336 yards in the narrow loss, leaving no opportunity for Mariota to get on the field on the heels of his excellent showing in relief of Carr against the Chargers. The Raiders have now been eliminated from playoff contention after suffering their fifth loss in six games, but Carr is still expected to start in the season finale Jan. 3 at Denver even though he may be at less-than-optimal health.
Mariota entered Thursday's night's 30-27 overtime loss to the Chargers for Derek Carr (groin) with 13:29 remaining in the second quarter and completed 17 of 28 passes for 226 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He also rushed nine times for 88 yards and another score. Seeing his first game action since the Titans' AFC Championship Game loss to the Chiefs in January, Mariota looked like he hadn't missed a beat, hitting Fabian Moreau for a 22-yard gain on his first pass attempt and culminating his first drive with a 35-yard scoring strike to Darren Waller. The 2015 second overall pick continued to produce throughout the contest, leading three scoring drives comprised of at least 10 plays and impressively capping off the penultimate one with a two-yard touchdown dive into the right corner of the end zone. Mariota's late fourth-quarter interception may very well have cost the Raiders a win, considering it came at the Chargers' 16-yard line with under two minutes to play and the score tied, but it's difficult to find fault overall with what the sixth-year pro was able to do in an emergency capacity. Carr will have a couple of extra days to try and heal up for a Week 16 Saturday night battle against the Dolphins on Dec. 26, but if he's ultimately unable to suit up, Mariota will be in line to start a potentially critical game for Las Vegas.
Mariota will handle backup duties for Sunday's game against the Jets, Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com reports. Nathan Peterman had been handling the backup job behind Derek Carr since Week 8, but Mariota will get the opportunity Sunday. It's unclear if Mariota has taken over as the team's No. 2 option for good or if this is just an isolated occurrence.
Mariota (coach's decision) is inactive for Sunday's game against the Broncos. Mariota continues to operate as the No. 3 quarterback for Las Vegas, while Nathan Peterman is the primary backup for Derek Carr.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||63.8||2321||10||8||266||2||172|