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Raiders’ Marcus Mariota keeping an eye on potential starting QB jobs around the NFL

by Lewis hawkins
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Marcus Mariota reworked his contract to remain with the Las Vegas Raiders earlier this offseason, but Derek Carr‘s backup still pines to be a starter once again.

Mariota noted over the weekend that he’s always keeping an eye on QB news from around the NFL in case a starting opportunity might arise elsewhere.

“Absolutely,” he said when asked if he monitors other QB situations, via the Las Vegas Journal-Review. “It is my goal (to be a starter), so I do keep tabs on what’s going on. For us as players, it’s kind of important to see what the landscape is. That being said, I enjoy this team. It’s a great organization to play for.”

The most significant question mark among starting gigs is currently in Indianapolis, where the timetable for Carson Wentz’s return from foot surgery remains a mystery. The Colts will have a better idea in a week or two whether the QB will return closer to Week 1 or miss a good chunk of the opening slate. If it appears Wentz might be out into October, then Indy might peruse the veteran trade market. Of course, any trade considerations also depend on how Jacob Eason, Sam Ehlinger and Brett Hundley look during preseason action.

As we press further into training camp and exhibition games, chances build that another QB injury might spring from the soil. If it does, Mariota’s name — along with the likes of Gardner Minshew and Nick Foles — would be one to note.

The veteran signal-caller looked good in one relief appearance last season against Los Angeles Chargers. After injuries curtailing his early-career progress leading to his exit from Tennessee, Mariota profiles as a solid stop-gap option who can hold down the fort.

Earlier this offseason, Mariota was a trade candidate and possibly a cut candidate before he signed a reworked deal that pays him $3.5 million this season — fully guaranteed. The new contract also included a no-trade clause, which gives Mariota the power to veto any proposed deal. Assume that if a starting job came available, he’d waive that no-trade clause and pounce at a chance to be more than Carr’s backup in Vegas.

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