Vic Tafur of TheAthletic.com explains that Mariota hasn’t become the potential alternative to Derek Carr that the one-year, $7.5 million investment would suggest. As Tafur explains it, the competition (if there ever was one) quickly became “no contest.”
Coincidentally, or not, Carr has praised the player who clearly won’t be a threat to take Carr’s starting spot.
“He’s doing a fantastic job,” Carr said recently, via Tafur. “Marcus is a great guy, he’s a smart football player. He’s done a great job, but any chance I get during a meeting, if he asks a question and maybe it’s not the answer he’s looking for, I’ll text him and try to help him.”
Of course, it’s possible that the Raiders signed Mariota and gave him $7.5 million in the hopes that either he’d step up or his presence would prompt Carr to do so. Thus, even though Mariota hasn’t worked out, the Raiders may not regret the move, if it helped contribute to Carr finally rising to a challenge, thickening his skin, and becoming the guy coach John Gruden has wanted him to be for two seasons and counting.
Regardless, Mariota won’t be doing to Carr what Ryan Tannehill did to Mariota a year ago.