The Raiders might have been “sniffing around” Tom Brady, but they never tried to shop Derek Carr as far as we know.
Instead, Brady signed with the Buccaneers, and the Raiders signed Marcus Mariota to backup Carr. As long as Carr is healthy and productive, he will start. But Mariota knows first hand exactly what that means.
Mariota was benched for Ryan Tannehill in the sixth game of last season and now is on his way to Las Vegas. Tannehill, acquired by the Titans in a trade a year ago, got the big contract in Tennessee.
Raiders General Manager Mike Mayock praised all four of his quarterbacks, especially Carr and Mariota, during a conference call Tuesday.
“We’re very appreciative to have Derek Carr,” Mayock said. “Jon [Gruden’s] offense, he’s going into year three of it. Marcus Mariota, Jon and I both know him very, very well. We feel really good about the quarterback position.”
Mariota, the second overall choice in 2015, went 29-32 in his five seasons in Tennessee. He never made a Pro Bowl and led the Titans to the postseason in 2017.
Mayock, though, still believes in Mariota.
“The cool thing with my background and Jon’s background is a lot of things that we said and did in our past are public,” Mayock said. “So if you’re Marcus Mariota and you want to know what the General Manager of the Raiders thought about him before he came out, or what Jon Gruden thought about him before he came out, all you’ve got to do is go back and check public records. I mean, he went through Gruden’s quarterback camp on television. I had him as the top quarterback in that draft. He knew that both of us believed in him coming out and still believe in him. He’s got to get healthy. We’ve got to rebuild him a little bit, get his confidence back, build him up from the ground up. It’s going to take a little while, I think, just to get him healthy and where he wants to be, but we’re excited about the quarterback room.
“I thought Marcus did a great job with first couple of interviews he had, just talking about where he was, which is wanting to support Derek. He wants to become the best version of Marcus Mariota that he can become, and that’s the way we look at it. Let’s see who the best Marcus Mariota is, and in the meantime, we love what we have with Derek Carr. We’re real happy with our quarterback room. We’ve got Nathan Peterman, who played well until he was hurt, and DeShone Kizer, a former second-round pick [of the Browns]. So we feel we’ve got a very strong quarterback room.”
So, for now, Carr has the starting job, and Mariota will begin his career with the Raiders as the No. 2 and an insurance policy.