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Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Marcus Mariota is set to become a free agent, and it appears several teams are interested in his services in what is expected to be a competitive quarterback market.
The San Francisco 49ers, New York Giants and Indianapolis Colts are being linked to the 2015 second overall pick, according to ESPN’s Dan Graziano and Jeremy Fowler. He is “looking for the chance to start again and is open to being a 1B option as a potential bridge starter for a draft pick,” Graziano and Fowler added.
Mariota was labeled as a draft bust after five inconsistent seasons with the Tennessee Titans from 2015-19. In five seasons, he went 29-32, completing 62.9 percent of his passes for 13,207 yards and 76 touchdowns against 44 interceptions.
However, some of his struggles could be related to the fact he had two head coaches in his first three seasons under center and four offensive coordinators in his five seasons. That doesn’t provide much stability for a young quarterback learning the ropes.
In addition, Mariota struggled with injuries since entering the league, suffering an injury in six of his seven NFL seasons. During his tenure in Tennessee, he dealt with a sprained MCL in his right knee, a broken fibula, a hamstring injury and an elbow ailment.
After five seasons with the Titans, the 28-year-old signed with the Las Vegas Raiders, serving as a backup to Derek Carr for the past two seasons. He appeared in 11 games, completing 18 of 30 passes for 230 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
After learning under Carr, Mariota has a lot of promise entering the 2022 season, and it’s no surprise the 49ers appear to be a destination for the veteran.
San Francisco is looking to trade Jimmy Garoppolo this offseason in hopes of transitioning to 2021 third overall pick Trey Lance in 2022. ESPN noted that Mariota could start games while Lance continues develop.
Considering both Lance and Mariota are mobile quarterbacks, they could be used interchangeably without much of a change to the overall offensive scheme.
As for the Giants, they are looking for someone who can push Daniel Jones harder and threaten him for the starting job. Mariota could be that guy, as Jones has been inconsistent through three seasons in New York.
In 38 career games, Jones has completed 62.8 percent of his passes for 8,398 yards and 45 touchdowns against 29 interceptions.
The Colts are in a different situation as they search for a new starting quarterback altogether. The team traded Carson Wentz to the Washington Commanders and lack a starter entering 2022.
However, Indy has also been linked to Carr, Garoppolo, Minnesota Vikings veteran Kirk Cousins and Philadelphia Eagles backup Gardner Minshew II. So, it’s possible Mariota could be considered more of a backup plan.