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He was a decorated player at the University of Oregon (the Heisman Trophy, Maxwell Award, and Davey O’Brien Award, just to name a few. He was the number two overall draft pick in 2015 and began his professional career in Tennessee Titans as the starter quarterback. In 2020, he signed with the Las Vegas Raiders. With all that, Marcus Mariota has proven that he’s one skilled quarterback.
He finally got to make his Raiders debut in an AFC West match against the Los Angeles Chargers in December 2020. First-string QB Derek Carr had to leave due to an injury in the final minute of the first quarter of the game.
Salary and bonuses
When he joined the team in the offseason of 2020, he signed a two-year $17.6 million contract to stay on as Carr’s backup QB. Plus, he gets a $200 thousand incentive if he plays more than 60% of the snaps in any game, $325 thousand if they win. Unfortunately, that additional $125 thousand didn’t land in his pocket when they lost that December 2020 match.
But after a spot appearance in a game against the Chargers, Mariota’s future with the team seemed clouded. He impressed some people so much that there were talks of trading him. Although his performance got him some attention, it triggered some markers in his contract that made it complicated for interested teams to get him.
At the time, he carried a cap charge of $10.725 million– with a $10.6 million base salary– and the opportunity to earn incentives of $12 million. The numbers were just too big to make work.
So, during the recent offseason, he had to take a significant pay cut to stay with the Raiders. From the $10.725 million, Mariota’s salary was cut down to $3.5 million with incentives that could push it up to $8 million.
But even with the considerable salary cut-down, Marcus Mariota’s spirits are still soaring while entering his second season with the team. In an interview with Rob DeMello of KHON2, Mariota said that he’s “just excited to be a Raider.”
Things are looking up
Despite his 2020 slips, the rest of 2021 looks bright for Mariota. Although he spent a chunk of last season injured and benched, people can expect to see him on the field more this year. After Raiders offensive guard Richie Incognito suggested Mariota be used more in the red zone, a report from ESPN’s Paul Guitierrez says that the Raiders have a package of plays for Mariota this season.