After a week of reports from agreeing to terms to contract details being revealed – On Tuesday it became official, as Hawaii’s Marcus Mariota put pen to paper, signing a two year deal with the Las Vegas Raiders.
“Words can’t even express how excited, how happy we are as a family. These last five years have been a blessing, no doubt. I think Nashville has treated us very well, but this is a great opportunity for us as. It’s an opportunity to be closer to home and also to be a part of a great organization,” Mariota told KHON2 Sports Director Rob DeMello on Tuesday.
The 26-year-old quarterback who spent the last five seasons with the Titans, signed off on a contract worth $17.6 million, which includes $7.5 million in the first year as a fully guaranteed base salary.
The contract is also loaded with incentives.
Mariota can make $2.4 million if he plays 60 percent of the Raiders’ offensive snaps in 2020, plus another $1.5 million in per-game playing time and win incentives and $2 million in postseason incentives. Mariota has $10 million in incentives available in 2021.
Mariota could earn a total of $37.5 million playing under head coach Jon Gruden, if he achieves all of the incentives over the life of the contract, but it was terms that did not show up in the contract that led him to Las Vegas.
“I had two priorities that I had while I was going through this free agency process. Number one was to find stability. I wanted to be a part of an organization that had a stable head coach, that had stability in the front office, and secondly for me, I wanted to be a part of a coaching staff that could bring out the best in me. That could embrace my talents and kind of put my best foot forward,” said Mariota.
With the Raiders franchise relocating from Oakland to Las Vegas, Mariota does not deny that being able to play in the ‘ninth island’ was a significant advantage to choosing the silver-and-black.
“The bonus and the cherry on top of it was being closer to home and being in Vegas,” said Maritoa. “It’s been almost ten years since I played at home and to be play in front of friends and family. For me, this is as close as it gets and I’m just so thrilled to have that opportunity. To be able to share in the moments with family and friends. I can’t wait, I truly just can’t wait.”
The former Heisman Trophy winner out of Oregon will enter the franchise in a competition at QB with returning starter Derek Carr.
“First and foremost this is Derek’s team, and I understand that. I understand that going in. For me my priorities going into free agency was to be a part of a team that I felt could bring out the best in me and whatever happens, whatever comes to that, I’m ready for, but I do know that to play starting quarterback in the NFL, to be at that spot is not any easy job to do, and I think when it comes down to it, a strong, stable, supportive quarterback room makes that job a whole lot easier. That’s what we have to do. I’m going to do my best to support Derek in every possible way that I can and along with that I’m just going to try to become the best player that I can be and see where that takes me.”
Mariota, is currently in Los Angeles, California. He is still finding a way to train through the California lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and is just awaiting the green light from the NFL to make his way to his new home of Las Vegas.