Marcus Mariota turns these 3 NFL pretenders into contenders

Marcus Mariota is a hot commodity on the NFL trade market this offseason.

Las Vegas Raiders backup quarterback Marcus Mariota may only spend one season with the Silver and Black, as the former Heisman Trophy winner could be on the move here soon.

The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that while Derek Carr is expected to be a major part of the Raiders’ 2021 plans, Mariota is more likely to be dealt that to return to Las Vegas. He is due $10 million and would net the Raiders some lucrative draft compensation if he were to be traded in the coming weeks. This would also give Mariota a shot to be an NFL starting quarterback again.

3 NFL teams Marcus Mariota makes into contenders

3
New England Patriots
AFC East

This would help them close the gap on Buffalo in the AFC East

It was not that long ago the New England Patriots were the preeminent dynasty in the NFL. For 20 years, they were essentially a guarantee to win the AFC East annually and get to the Super Bowl every other season. However, Tom Brady is hoisting Lombardi Trophies in Tampa Bay now and Cam Newton is no longer the same superstar quarterback he used to be in Carolina.

The Patriots have been very high on Mariota in recent years, especially since he fell out of favor in Nashville. While the Patriots are largely devoid of talent offensively these days, head coach Bill Belichick can trust offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels to devise an offensive system around Mariota to let him flourish. If he plays like he did with the Oregon Ducks, this would be a huge get.

2
Washington Football Team
NFC East

This was a division-winning football team a season ago

One team that has had serious interest in trading for Mariota is the Washington Football Team. Despite a 7-9 record, Washington was able to win the NFC East under new head coach Ron Rivera. Washington was able to do this by becoming an outstanding defensive football team, but one that rarely got anything from the quarterback position. Mariota could come in and provide a big spark.

Of course, if Mariota was to be traded to Washington, he would need to agree to a restructure of sorts. That is because his $10 million contract with the Raiders is incredibly incentive laden. If he is making less than $20 million annually, he can be the reason Washington repeats at NFC East champions. Because of the team’s defensive prowess, it becomes a dark horse NFC contender.

1
Chicago Bears
NFC North

Anyone is an upgrade over Mitchell Trubisky as this point

The one team that could benefit from an upgrade at the quarterback position the most are the Chicago Bears. If they decide to roll with Mitchell Trubisky for a fifth season, Bears fans have earned the right to switch NFL allegiances. Mariota may not be a huge upgrade over the incumbent, but we have seen him play at a higher level before in his football career over Trubisky.

Like with Washington, this will be a defensive-led football team. All Mariota has to do is not be a hopeless grease fire at quarterback for his new team to have success. While he may never be anything close to the franchise quarterback we thought he would be coming out of Oregon, Mariota is capable enough of guiding the Bears back to the playoffs and maybe win a few games.

Overall, Mariota will be given a short leash if he were to be traded. While he should be given another opportunity to be an NFL starting quarterback in the next year or so, he has not elevated himself beyond a high-end, stop-gap signal-caller at this point. It is caveat emptor for whoever wishes to trade for him. However, he would make these three NFL teams better upon arrival.

What NFL teams should inquire about a trade with the Raiders for Mariota this offseason?