Is Marcus Mariota a candidate for comeback player of the year?

Former Tennessee Titans QB Marcus Mariota signed a two year deal with the Las Vegas Raiders this offseason. The deal is worth $17.6 million, but it includes incentives that could increase the value of the contract to as much as $37.5 million.

What does this say about how the Raiders feel about Marcus Mariota? They obviously don’t want to handicap themselves too much by giving Mariota a deal with a huge cap hit. For 2020, Mariota will only cost the Las Vegas Raiders a little over $9 million in cap space. The deal will be pretty lucrative if Mariota is able to put together a good season in 2020, though.  It seems like the Raiders believe Mariota has a good chance to take over the starting QB position.

Although Mariota hasn’t exactly said it, it feels like he believes he has a good shot as well. Why else would he sign a deal that leaves $20 million on the table if he isn’t able to produce good stats throughout the contract?

Marcus Mariota had a very underwhelming 2019 season. He lost his starting job in the week 6 game vs the Denver Broncos to Ryan Tannehill. Fast forward a few months, and Tannehill led the Titans to the AFC Championship game and won the Comeback Player of the Year award.

Could Marcus Mariota win Comeback Player of the Year in 2020?

Marcus Mariota can make his own case for Comeback Player of the year next season. Derek Carr hasn’t been able to lead the Las Vegas Raiders to much success lately. In the last three seasons, he has led the team to a record of, respectively, 6-10, 4-12, and 7-9. Carr also failed to throw for more than 25 touchdowns in each of those three seasons. With receivers like Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree, it makes you wonder how Derek Carr wasn’t able to find the endzone more often.

By the time we get to training camp, there is a small chance we could see a QB controversy in Las Vegas. If Marcus Mariota is able to win the starting job, he has to be considered as a dark horse candidate for Comeback Player of the Year, right?

As of now, it doesn’t seem like Draftkings sees it as much of a possibility.

In fact, Mariota’s odds aren’t even listed at all. Players like Baker Mayfield and Mitchell Trubisky are listed with odds at +3000 and +5000, but Mariota isn’t even mentioned.

It may seem a little premature to talk about Marcus Mariota as a Comeback Player of the Year candidate before he even wins the starting job, but with young weapons like Henry Ruggs and Josh Jacobs he could easily be in the running. Locking in insane odds on Marcus Mariota before he’s even the starter seems like the perfect high risk high reward going into the 2020 NFL season.

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Featured Image: “File:Marcus Mariota v. South Dakota 2014.png” by Athies22 is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

About The Author Tanner Staggs

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