Mariota signed a two-year, $17.6 million deal that includes $7.5 million in the first year as a fully guaranteed base salary, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported Monday. The initial detail of his contract isn’t all that intriguing, but the incentives and escalators, a “mountain” of them as NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero tweeted, stand to potentially pay Mariota as much as $37.5 million.
Of course, Mariota would have to take the field in order to earn such incentives and escalators, but writing these details into a contract is not only enticing for a free agent such as Mariota, but also an indicator of what the Raiders think the quarterback could do if he’s pressed into action.
We’re not going to insinuate that this contract signals the Raiders aren’t confident in Derek Carr. General manager Mike Mayock said enough to convince us otherwise during the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine. But it’s interesting to consider that the Raiders at least think Mariota has the potential to achieve whatever marks are written into the contract as goals to secure additional pay.
Mariota came up on the losing end of a midseason quarterback change last year in Tennessee to Ryan Tannehill, but with Carr’s injury history, he could find himself tossed into action and able to make himself some extra money. Such a detail might have convinced Mariota to join Jon Gruden’s team. We’ll see if it ends up affecting his wallet.