Marcus Mariota is sticking with the Raiders for now following an agreement to reduce his pay for the 2021 season.
Mariota is expected to sign a reworked contract with Las Vegas, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported. The deal is for one year worth $3.5 million with a chance to earn up to $8 million including incentives, per Rapoport.
The reworked agreement follows a request from the Raiders for Mariota to take a pay cut down to $3 million. Instead, Mariota negotiated up, gaining $500,000 and giving the Raiders needed cap relief as they attempt to create space to improve their defense. The adjusted deal reduces Mariota's compensation from the $10.725 million he was set to make in 2021.
Perhaps more importantly, the new contract also makes Mariota easier to trade, if an interested team calls the Raiders. Mariota's performance in his lone 2020 appearance put him back on the radar of the NFL, thanks to his productive outing in relief of the injured Derek Carr in a Week 14 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. Mariota completed 17 of 28 attempts for 226 yards, one touchdown and one interception in the game, displaying an ability to move the ball effectively in a fashion that previously led to his second-overall selection in the 2015 draft.
Mariota's brief showing added him to the list of candidates for QB-needy teams this offseason, but with the previous cap hit of over $10 million considered, he wasn't exactly a moveable asset. Now that his number is lower, the Raiders might be able to find a deal that fits for both them and Mariota's future.
If not, the Raiders have a quality backup on an affordable deal that puts him in line with other understudies around the league. At worst, he's there as a second option in the event Carr is again injured.