New England Patriots could trade for QB Marcus Mariota

NFL rumors continue to link the New England Patriots to multiple quarterbacks available in free agency and on the trade block. Most recently, there’s been a ton of talk about Jimmy Garoppolo heading back to New England.

If that doesn’t happen, there appears to be another course of action for head coach Bill Belichick and Co. That could come in the form of Las Vegas Raiders backup quarterback Marcus Mariota.

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New England said to be interested in Marcus Mariota

Could the New England Patriots trade for Marcus Mariota?
Dec 26, 2020; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) warms up before a game against the Miami Dolphins at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

“Multiple sources, including one GM, told The Athletic the Raiders’ preference is to move Marcus Mariota and keep Carr, unless someone makes them a ridiculous offer for Carr,” The Athletic noted on Monday. “Mariota has been mentioned as a possibility in New England, with the hope he could become for the Patriots what Ryan Tannehill has been for Mike Vrabel in Tennessee.”

A former No. 2 overall pick of the Tennessee Titans, Mariota would be a cost-effective option for the retooling Patriots. He’s set to earn a base salary of just $10.63 million in 2021. Given the Patriots’ cap situation, that’s no small thing.

On the field, it remains to be seen how much of an upgrade Mariota would be over the soon-to-be departed Cam Newton with the New England Patriots.

The 27-year-old quarterback has tallied 19 touchdown passes against 11 interceptions in 22 games since the end of the 2017 season. He was last a full-time starter for Tennessee back in 2018. If Belichick and Co. think Mariota could be a starter-caliber quarterback for the team, it likely wouldn’t require much in a trade with the Raiders.

This comes on the same day that reports suggest Las Vegas would rather trade Mariota than Derek Carr. That followed a previous report suggesting that the Raiders could look to flip Carr in order to acquire Deshaun Watson in a blockbuster trade with the Houston Texans.

Read More: Patriots quarterback: Top options for the team in 2021

Other New England Patriots quarterback options

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Dec 20, 2020; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz (11) against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

As for the Patriots, it’s rather clear that the team is in the market for an upgrade. They were not one of the finalists for Matthew Stafford prior to his trade from the Detroit Lions to the Los Angeles Rams. In addition to Garoppolo, New England has also been linked to Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz.

Fresh off seeing Tom Brady win his seventh Super Bowl as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it’s clear that the onus is on New England to improve after suffering its first losing season since 2000. That will likely start at quarterback.