Derek Carr is likely to return as the starting quarterback for the Raiders in 2022, but what will happen to back up Marcus Mariota?
Much has been made about whether or not Derek Carr will return to the Las Vegas Raiders in 2022. His return is likely predicated on the final three games of the season, as well as who is running the franchise within the next few months.
Carr’s performance has been a wide debate amongst the NFL, the Raiders, and the Raiders faithful, but it has been clear that he is a starting quarterback in the NFL. The future of Raiders backup Quarterback Marcus Mariota is likely another major question for the team heading into the offseason.
While many Raiders fans have been clamoring for Mariota to start over Carr, the Raiders brass is loyal to Carr, and Mariota’s inaccuracy and injury issues have been well documented throughout his run in Las Vegas. Mariota has offered the team a different look in short-yardage situations throughout the season, even scoring once, but the team has been reluctant to let him throw the ball.
As a former #2 overall pick, Mariota clearly has talent and has taken teams to the playoffs, so it was a little surprising to see him not get traded after a positive performance against the Los Angeles Chargers last season after a Carr Injury.
What is Mariota’s future with the Raiders?
Mariota’s future likely depends on what the new brass thinks of Carr and Mariota. It seems unlikely that Mariota would return again as a backup without much of a chance to start, however, if the Raiders are inclined to draft a young prospect or have a bridge option, Mariota could get a chance. While he may not be a franchise quarterback like initially drafted by Tennessee to be, he is likely a top backup option in the league when healthy, possibly even the top because he offers a unique athletic ability.
Mariota’s talents are clear and are highlighted by the Raiders coaching staff trying to find a way to get him on the field. His athleticism makes him an attractive option for a running team, but in a pass-happy approach, he is unlikely to lead a winning team. Mariota was initially intended to push Carr but quickly fell out of the race. The inability to push Carr is a likely reason why owner Mark Davis will not sign off on Mariota replacing Carr, especially because Carr is not a Davis favorite.
Mariota could easily be welcomed back as a top backup if his price is similar to this year’s salary, but with Nathan Peterman waiting in the wings, the Raiders have questions. Carr, Mariota, and Peterman were all former head coach Jon Gruden favorites, so the whole Quarterback room could easily be replaced come the 2022 season.
The Las Vegas Raiders will welcome the Denver Broncos to Allegiant Stadium in Week 15, and here are our early odds and predictions for the AFC West matchup.
Mariota has shown flashes, but it seems like he hasn’t made many fans in the Raiders as a full-time quarterback despite a great performance in primetime last year. The future of a former top draft pick is truly up in the air even while many in Raider nation continue to push for him.