Raiders ask QB Marcus Mariota to take pay cut to $3M

Decision day is coming on Marcus Mariota.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported the Las Vegas Raiders asked Mariota to take a pay cut down to $3 million this season, per a source informed of the situation. If he refuses, the team plans to release the veteran quarterback.

Mariota is due $10.725 million this season.

Read this as a last call for clubs to trade for Mariota before setting him free on the open market. Given that plans to cut center Rodney Hudson and Gabe Jackson eventually ended up in the Raiders recouping draft picks in trades, Vegas could be hoping to do similarly with Mariota.

Cutting his salary to $3 million would place Mariota's salary in line with a backup and help out the cap-strapped Raiders who want to invest more on the defensive side of the ball than insurance for Derek Carr. Cutting Mariota outright would save Vegas $15.35 million on the salary cap with zero dead money, per Over The Cap.

A team could still trade for Mariota, but with few spots to compete for a starting gig left, odds are clubs would balk at acquiring the signal-caller's deal. Rapoport previously reported that clubs were shying away from trading for the QB before free agency due to a bonus in his contract that could make his salary worth roughly $20 million if he ended up a starter.

The former first-round pick by the Tennessee Titans in 2015, Mariota has struggled with consistency, been overwhelmed by pressure and battled injury in his career. In his one relief appearance in Vegas last year, however, he shined, nearly leading the Raiders to a prime-time victory over the Chargers.

Given that other veterans have signed for incentive-laden deals with base salaries around $5-6 million (Cam Newton, Jameis Winston, Tyrod Taylor), Mariota is likely to view his value as higher than $3 million. All it takes is one team to view Mariota as a potential starter or bridge.

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