Marcus Mariota stepped in for an injured Derek Carr on Thursday night, and earned some extra walking around money for his trouble.
With Derek Carr holding on to the starting job very tentatively, the Las Vegas Raiders signed Marcus Mariota to a two-year, $17.5 million contract ($7.5 million guaranteed) to be their backup quarterback. The deal was loaded up with incentives and escalators, as skeptics of Carr envisioned a repeat of what Ryan Tannehill did to Mariota with the Titans in 2019.
But Mariota did not push Carr during camp, and he opened the season on IR with a pectoral injury. Carr has also played well for the most part this season, effectively squashing the idea he’d be replaced based on poor performance.
But early on Thursday night against the Los Angeles Chargers, Carr suffered a groin injury while rolling out. In stepped Mariota.
First, an immediate tweet from ESPN’s Field Yates.
How much will Marcus Marriott cost the Las Vegas Raiders?
Mariota can’t maximize all the incentives in his contract at this point, since the fully fleshed-out amounts in per-game things were based on all 16 games. He performed well in his Raiders’ debut, completing 17 of 28 passes for 226 yards with 88 rushing yards and two total touchdowns. He did all he could to deliver a win, ultimately betrayed by bad play-calling and a bad defense in overtime as the Raiders lost to the Chargers.
With the playing time bonus and the increase in 2021 base salary, Mariota will collect an extra $825,000 for his work on Thursday night. If the Raiders had won the game, it would have been $950,000.
Even with a bit of extra time, Carr’s status for Week 16 against the Miami Dolphins is a big question for the reeling 7-7 Raiders. So Mariota might get another start, and pocket at least another $200,000 as a result. A repeat in Week 17 against the Denver Broncos and, well…you get the idea. If the Raiders make the playoffs and Mariota is still playing in place of Carr, he has $2 million in playoff/Super Bowl incentives available–let’s go ahead and call those “unlikely to be earned.”
In any case, Mariota showed himself well on Thursday night. And he also got a nice chunk of extra money.