Las Vegas Raiders backup gunslinger Marcus Mariota failed to see significant action in the 2020 NFL season after spending the majority of their games riding the bench behind QB1 Derek Carr. However, Mariota did have a stellar game in Week 15 against the Los Angeles Chargers, racking up 226 passing yards on 17-of-28 passes along with a touchdown. Despite his performance, he still failed to power his team to a win as they succumbed to a 30-27 loss in overtime.
Mariota’s lone game in the 2020 season gave a glimpse of how much more Mariota has to offer as a quarterback in the league. Unfortunately, the Raiders seem to be too committed to Carr for them to give Mariota multiple chances to showcase his abilities on the field next season.
Nevertheless, the former Heisman Trophy winner still has a good chance of playing as a starter next season, with several teams hoping to reinvigorate their team’s chances by acquiring a new quarterback in the offseason.
Here are three teams that could trade for Marcus Mariota ahead of the 2021 NFL season.
The Bears had a shaky situation under center in 2020, rotating between QB1 Mitchell Trubisky and backup playmaker Nick Foles. Head coach Matt Nagy pulled the plug on Trubisky in Week 3, only for their former first-round pick to return as the starter when Foles sustained a hip injury in Week 10 against the Minnesota Vikings.
Trubisky had his moments down the stretch of the season, and the Chicago-based squad managed to punch a ticket to the playoffs despite only going 8-8. However, the Bears looked like an amateur team playing against a New Orleans Saints squad that was raring to eat them alive in the Wild Card Round.
Trubisky finished the 2020 season with tallies of 2,055 passing yards along with 16 touchdowns in 10 games played. Despite reclaiming his position as QB1 of the Bears in the last few contests of the season, Trubisky hasn’t fully gained the trust of the team’s decision-makers, and it’s clear the franchise is looking for an upgrade at quarterback.
It is undoubted that the Bears could’ve accomplished more if only they had a more stable quarterback last season. With Trubisky failing to live up to his potential, it could be time for the Bears to move on from him and try their luck with a Marcus Mariota trade.
Similar to the Bears, the Steelers also suffered their downfall due to the on-field struggles of their quarterback in Ben Roethlisberger. After a streaking 11-0 start to their campaign, the Steelers eventually fell from grace as more opponents figured out how to beat them in the latter stages of the season.
Roethlisberger’s play was clearly on the decline as he failed to accurately hit his targets despite having several capable weapons at his disposal. In addition, he also struggled to bring the ball down the field once the passing lanes were already clogged due to his limited mobility at age 38.
With all the uncertainty revolving around Roethlisberger and his future, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert opted to sign Dwayne Haskins to a minimum contract to potentially serve as some insurance for next season. Mason Rudolph is also still in place as a backup before he hits free agency in 2022.
Marcus Mariota may not be the best option out there, but he is certainly an upgrade compared to the other quarterbacks the Steelers currently have on their roster.
Thanks to a stellar rookie campaign in the 2019 season, Drew Lock was immediately deemed by many as the future face of the franchise. However, Lock really struggled in 2020, leading to questions about said status as the quarterback of the future.
The Broncos did deal with some key injuries on both sides of the ball, but Lock had his own problems. The quarterback only managed to play in 13 games, notching a total of 2,933 passing yards on a 57.3% completion rate and 16 touchdowns scored to 15 interceptions.
Lock’s failure to perform in the pocket played a big role in a disappointing 5-11 record. It is safe to say that things could’ve been different if Denver got better play at quarterback, even if all his struggles weren’t his fault.
Lock may still be young at the age of 24, but he can’t afford to waste his opportunities, or else he’ll find himself replaced sooner rather than later. If the Broncos are desperate to get back in the mix for the playoffs next season, they could turn to a more experienced veteran in Marcus Mariota, who could come in and provide steadier playmaking in order to speed up their rebuilding cause moving forward.