Why Marcus Mariota, all things considered, may be Washington's ideal QB in 2021

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Peter Hailey
·3 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Mariota, all things considered, may be Washington's ideal QB originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Compared to options such as Deshaun Watson, Russell Wilson, Derek Carr or moving up in the draft for someone like Justin Fields or Zach Wilson, Marcus Mariota is about as flashy as a set of new bath towels. 

So, unless you're a bath towel enthusiast, the idea of Mariota being the quarterback that Washington ends up with this offseason is probably not too inspiring.

But perhaps it should be.

In fact, in a lot of ways, Mariota might just be the perfect guy to take snaps for the Burgundy and Gold in 2021.

For the crowd who's furious at the thought of shipping first-rounder after first-rounder, and possibly a useful player or two, to Houston for Watson, the potential price for Mariota will be mega-appealing. 

He should also be easier to acquire than the other Vegas passer that Washington has been linked to. Even Sam Darnold is expected to command a richer package than Mariota. 

That means that, if Rivera and the rest of the Football Team's shot callers identify Mariota as the one they want to pursue — and some say that's the case — they could likely land him without sacrificing much draft capital and additionally keep their entire young core intact. Not a bad outcome, huh?

Mariota's contract is enticing as well.

As ESPN's John Keim recently explained, the 27-year-old's deal has plenty of incentives that he'd all but certainly achieve if he started for Washington next season, yet even so, he'd remain in a very reasonable tier of compensation compared to others lining up at the position.

By the way, the agreement is set to expire next March, so if Mariota doesn't satisfy the coaches and the front office, they can merely let him go after 12 months.

The conversation doesn't end there.

Let's say Mariota joins Washington, but the draft comes around and the organization is in a scenario where it can select someone like Mac Jones at pick No. 19. And if that doesn't occur, maybe the club will nab a prospect in the middle or later rounds. 

Well, a combination of Mariota and Taylor Heinicke could hold down the spot while that youngster, whatever his pedigree is, develops at a reasonable pace. Wouldn’t it be sweet to not rush a rookie into the huddle for once?

Now, let's address the other side of this.

Download and subscribe to the Washington Football Talk podcast

Mariota, who entered the NFL in 2015 with major expectations but never fulfilled them in Tennessee, is relevant again thanks to one off-the-bench performance last year after Carr got hurt. He was surprisingly effective that night, no doubt, but one night does not make a career.

Therefore, if Washington trades for him, there's a decent chance they realize that Mariota is still largely the same disappointment he was with the Titans. It's not even guaranteed that he'd beat out Heinicke and Kyle Allen, if he re-signs, in a training camp battle.

If the Raiders aren't too strict in their demands for him, though, why not welcome that risk? Go grab a pro who clearly possesses talent and mobility and see what he's got without mortgaging much at all. 

At best, you've found a sneaky solution to a massive problem on the low; at worst, you rip up the lottery ticket and throw it away; and in the middle, you get enough decent Sundays out of him and Heinicke and someone else to keep this rebuild moving forward. 

All of the sudden, that set of bath towels is beginning to gain a little more allure.