This year's edition of the quarterback carousel is shaping up to be an interesting one. We have already seen a star in Matthew Stafford get traded to the Los Angeles Rams, another star in Deshaun Watson wants out, and now there's speculation centered around Russell Wilson. These aren't the only quarterbacks who could be playing for new teams in 2021, as Carson Wentz is on deck to be dealt and Jimmy Garoppolo could be next. Even Derek Carr of the Las Vegas Raiders has received some trade interest, but a recent report indicates it's another quarterback on the Raiders roster who is more likely to be dealt.
On Tuesday, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported that several teams have called the Raiders about their quarterbacks, but not just Carr. Marcus Mariota is getting some legitimate trade interest as well, as the performance he registered towards the end of the year reportedly turned some heads.
The performance Rapoport is referring to was the Raiders' Week 15 primetime matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers. Early in the game, Carr exited due to a groin injury, and Mariota was forced to step into the lineup and try to will Vegas to victory. He completed 17 of 28 passes for 226 yards, one touchdown and one interception, but also rushed for 88 yards and another touchdown. It was a spirited performance for someone who did not appear to be a backup quarterback, despite the fact that the Raiders lost, 30-27, in overtime.
Mariota was drafted No. 2 overall by the Tennessee Titans in the 2015 NFL Draft, and spent his first five seasons in Nashville. He had an incredible second season back in 2016, when he threw for a career-high 3,426 yards, 26 touchdowns and just nine interceptions, but overall, his career has been marred by inconsistencies and injuries. In the middle of the 2019 season, Mariota was benched for Ryan Tannehill, who helped the Titans get all the way to the AFC Championship game.
Mariota has maintained he has no doubts that he can be a starting and winning quarterback in the league, and several teams are reportedly considering him as their next starting signal-caller.