Marcus Mariota Reportedly Restructured Contract; Could It Entice Patriots?

Could Mariota have restructured to make a trade easier?

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March 23, 2021

Marcus Mariota reportedly has agreed to restructure his contract to make it more affordable for the Las Vegas Raiders … or another potential suitor?

Mariota will now play on a one-year deal worth $3.5 million with an opportunity to earn up to $8 million with incentives, according to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport. The adjusted deal reduces Mariota’s potential earnings significantly as he previously was set to make a $10.725 million base salary with the opportunity to earn approximately $20 million with incentives.

That contract, you may remember, made it hard for other teams to get too interested in the 27-year-old quarterback, who reportedly was on the trade block before the new league year started last week.

There’s two very different sides to his restructure, though.

First, and perhaps most likely, it means he sticks with the Raiders and gives Las Vegas has a solid backup quarterback on a much more affordable contract. That, obviously, would mean previous potential suitors for Mariota — like the New England Patriots — would be taken out of the running. It could have been caused as Mariota decided to restructure instead of being released as the open market is not enticing many long-term deals no matter the position.

However, it also could mean the exact opposite. Instead of Mariota restructuring his deal to remain in Las Vegas, maybe he did so to entice more teams to trade for him? After all, there’s no debating that a trade for Mariota now becomes a lot easier for opposing teams to consider than it was before the restructuring.

Enter the Patriots.

Could head coach Bill Belichick and New England, who currently have a quarterback room headlined by newly re-signed Cam Newton and Jarrett Stidham, be more inclined to trade for Mariota? It’s a definite possibility, especially given the Patriots’ rumored interest earlier this offseason.

Rapoport expressed a similar league-wide feeling Tuesday, as well.

“The likelihood is that he stays in Vegas. However, because it’s a new contract, teams might like it also so I would never rule out him being traded even with this new contract to stay,” Rapoport said.

Is it unlikely? Sure. But it’s not out of the question, especially considering the offseason Belichick and Co already have had.

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