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Where EAST meets the Northwest


CONTRACT CEMENTED. Quarterback Marcus Mariota (#8) runs with the football in this August 23, 2015 file photo. The Las Vegas Raiders have agreed on a contract with the free agent quarterback to provide an experienced backup behind starter Derek Carr. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski, File)

From The Asian Reporter, V30, #05 (April 6, 2020), page 9.

Las Vegas Raiders agree to deal with QB Marcus Mariota

By Josh Dubow

The Associated Press

ALAMEDA, Calif. The Las Vegas Raiders have agreed on a contract with free agent quarterback Marcus Mariota to provide an experienced backup behind starter Derek Carr.

A person familiar with the negotiations said the Raiders reached a deal with Mariota, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 draft.

The Raiders were one of the teams rumored to be in the running for Tom Brady if he decided to leave New England as a free agent. They ended up with Mariota instead to give coach Jon Gruden a proven backup who could also challenge Carr for the starting role.

Mariota lost his starting job in Tennessee last season. The Titans acquired Ryan Tannehill from Miami last offseason and changed quarterbacks in October before going on a run to the American Football Conference (AFC) title game.

That made Mariota expendable in Tennessee less than five years after being drafted second overall. He made a big splash with four touchdown passes in his National Football League (NFL) debut in 2015 but never developed into the star the Titans hoped they were getting when they drafted him.

He lost his job six games into the 2019 season when he was pulled in the third quarter of a 0-16 loss at Denver. He completed a career-low 59.4% of his passes last season with seven TDs, two interceptions, and a 92.3 rating.

Mariota dealt with a revolving door of play-callers and receivers during his time in Tennessee. He has 61 career starts and 63 games in five seasons, with his best performance coming in his second year in 2016 when he threw 26 TD passes and had a 95.6 passer rating.

He broke his right ankle in the second-to-last game of that season, a couple of hours before Carr went down with a similar injury to derail his most successful season as a pro.

Overall, Mariota has completed 62.9% of his passes, averaging 7.5 yards per attempt with 76 TDs, 44 interceptions, and an 89.6 rating. He has also been sacked 155 times as he has struggled to avoid pressure.

The Raiders were seeking a better second quarterback to team with Carr after having Mike Glennon and DeShone Kizer as backups last year.

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