Marcus Mariota is coming to the Raiders as an insurance policy. The plan is to have him be Derek Carr’s backup in 2020.
But reports this week reveal that if Mariota should wind up taking Carr’s job or performing well should Carr lose his job to injury, the former Titans quarterback could earn far more money.
As Nick Shook of NFL.com reported Monday night, Mariota signed a two-year, $17.6 million contract with the Raiders. But Shook cites reporting by Mike Garafalo and Tom Pelissero of NFL.com that reveals Mariota has a “mountain” of incentives in his deal that – if reached – could pay him as much as $37.5 million over that span.
Among the incentives, according to Garafalo:
- $2.4 million if he plays 60 percent of the snaps in 2020.
- Another $1.5 million in 2020 for snap and victory totals.
- $2 million in playoff and Super Bowl incentives each year.
- $10 million in various incentives for 2021.
Shook wrote the incentives indicate general manager Mike Mayock and head coach Jon Gruden believe Mariota can be successful if he wins or takes over the starting quarterback job.
Mariota lost his starting job in Tennessee last season to Ryan Tannehill, then became a free agent. He’s an athletic quarterback with the ability to move and pick up yards on the ground (far better than Carr) and has a strong arm, so he gives the Raiders a young but experienced QB to push or fill in for Carr in 2020.
If Mariota plays well with the Raiders, it would revitalize his career and set him up for an even better deal after this one runs out in 2022.