- The Washington Times - Monday, March 1, 2021

Washington coach Ron Rivera said last month his team would explore all options at quarterback this offseason. That apparently included trade talks with the Las Vegas Raiders.

According to The Athletic, Washington “tried to acquire” Marcus Mariota, the former 2015 second overall pick who spent last season in Las Vegas behind starter Derek Carr, Raiders.  Talks, however, have reportedly cooled off.

The report does not indicate why the negotiation fell apart but suggests Mariota‘s contract could be a factor. Though Mariota is set to make $10.75 million as a base salary next season, the deal contains bonuses that could expand the number to $22 million. The Athletic previously reported that league executives thought Mariota could be only worth a fifth rounder because of the contract structure. 

Mariota, 27, appeared in one game for the Raiders last year. Replacing an injured Carr, he threw for 226 yards and a touchdown in a loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. Mariota signed a two-year deal to join Las Vegas last offseason.

Before signing with the Raiders, Mariota spent the first five years of his career with the Tennessee Titans. He failed to live up to the hype of his high draft status, going 29-32 as a starter. He was benched in 2019 after six games for Ryan Tannehill, who helped lead the Titans to the AFC Championship that season. 

Mariota has a career 89.5 quarterback rating with a 62.9 completion percentage. He’s thrown 77 touchdowns to 45 interceptions. 

If the Raiders cannot trade Mariota, the NFL Network reported it’s possible the Raiders could release him. Carr’s name also popped up in trade rumors, though Las Vegas has reportedly shown no willingness to deal him.

Mariota isn’t the first quarterback Washington pursued this offseason. The team offered a first-round and a third-round pick to the Detroit Lions in exchange for veteran Matthew Stafford, only to be rejected.

Washington is in pursuit of a new signal-caller after a surprising 7-9 season that resulted in a playoff berth. 

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