2. A Future Starting Option?
As previously alluded to, Mariota can earn an extra $2.4 million ($150,000 per game) if he plays 60 percent of the snaps this year. There is also $3.5 million in other incentives available, with a $12 million salary escalator for 2021.
The financials of it aside, if Mariota gets a chance to play and plays well this year the Raiders will probably be glad to keep him in 2021. If he were anointed the clear-cut starter, a contract extension could even come his way. Remember he’ll still only turn 27 in October. So if Gruden is able to unlock him, Mariota has some peak years left and could capably hold down the fort for the Raiders.
It’s not necessarily likely, since the Raiders seem sure to draft a quarterback this year. But the idea that Mariota steps in during the season and at least puts himself in the conversation to start for Vegas long-term, isn’t ridiculous on its face.