On a day when the Bears were connected to Teddy Bridgewater, Nick Foles, and Andy Dalton on the quarterback rumor mill, one name that was curiously not tied to the team was Marcus Mariota.
Perhaps this is why:
The #Raiders are pushing to close out a deal with QB Marcus Mariota, sources tell me and @RapSheet. Mike Mayock's No. 1-ranked QB in his @nflnetwork coverage leading up to the 2015 Draft could soon be on his roster.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 17, 2020
The @Raiders have come to terms with Marcus Mariota
— Vincent Bonsignore (@VinnyBonsignore) March 17, 2020
NFL Network insider Mike Garafolo first had news of the Raiders working toward a deal with Mariota, while Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported the two sides had agreed to terms. Mariota is headed to Vegas, where he will serve as the QB2 behind Derek Carr.
The Raiders’ interest in Mariota was first rumored on March 6, when Garafolo appeared on NFL Network’s “NFL Now” program and reported on the team’s interest on the free-agent-to-be. At the time, there was still some buzz about the possibility of Tom Brady heading to Vegas. However, Garafolo heard that a more likely scenario to play out was the Raiders targeting a veteran backup for Derek Carr instead of a big-fish free agent target like Brady.
It’s worth noting that Raiders GM Mike Mayock ranked Mariota as the No. 1 quarterback on his draft board in 2015 when he was the NFL Network’s top draft expert. Raiders Head Coach Jon Gruden – once ESPN’s QB guru – was really high on Mariota, too. Still, no one expects the Mariota signing to have an impact on Carr’s place with the Raiders. With this signing, he’s expected to stay. Womp womp.
With the two sides coming to an agreement, it essentially takes two potential Bears quarterback fits off the table. It’s a double whammy for Chicago’s pursuit of QB options, but it isn’t like there aren’t any options — it’s just that they are becoming more limited as free agency shakes out.