As one of the more proven backup quarterbacks in the NFL, it makes sense that Marcus Mariota of the Las Vegas Raiders is generating a lot of trade buzz this offseason. One team to keep an eye on could be the Denver Broncos.
The former Heisman Trophy winner and second overall draft pick is being floated around for a few teams that could use a backup quarterback or someone who can compete for the starting gig in the preseason. The Broncos are one of those teams who could use some quarterback pressure.
If Mariota is traded to the Mile High City, then he would assume the backup role with a good chance to eventually move up to the starting role as the jury is still out on current starter Drew Lock.
Lock, a former second-round draft pick from Missouri, has only played in 18 games in two seasons. Last season, Lock threw for 2,933 yards and recorded 16 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. Lock was tied with Carson Wentz for the most interceptions in the league.
Of course, the Broncos could be interested in acquiring Mariota to have a veteran quarterback voice to help guide Lock. However, if Lock doesn’t make a significant leap this season, Mariota could be called upon to be the team’s 10th different starting quarterback since Peyton Manning’s retirement after the Broncos’ Super Bowl 50 win.
After being drafted by the Titans in 2015, Mariota had his best season statistically in 2016. In his second year, Mariota threw for 3,426 yards and 26 touchdowns on just nine interceptions. However, Mariota’s play declined in his next three seasons with the Titans. Mariota was eventually benched in favor of Ryan Tannehill in Week 6 of the 2019 season, ironically against the Broncos.
With the Raiders last season, Mariota appeared in only one game, but he impressed. During a Week 15 overtime loss against the Chargers, Mariota was called to action after starter Derek Carr left the game with a groin injury. In Carr’s absence, Mariota recorded 226 passing yards, one touchdown and one interception. Mariota also rushed for 88 yards and a touchdown on nine carries.
Because of his performance in one game last season, it’s possible that Marcus Mariota could get a second chance as a starter in Denver and thus be the answer to Broncos’ years-long quarterback drought.