The Oakland Raiders adding a former second overall pick in Marcus Mariota to the mix is likely to create some tension over the starting quarterback role with Derek Carr. However, according to the former Tennessee Titans player, that is not the case.
Mariota spoke to KHON-TV in Hawaii about the situation: “… This is Derek’s team. I understand that going in. My priority going into free agency was to be part of a team that I felt could bring out the best in me. Whatever happens, whatever comes of that, I’m ready for… 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 become the best player that I can and see where that takes me.“
Mariota was a starter for the Titans through his first four seasons in the league, missing 8 games overall. He was benched in 2019 after a 2-4 start, losing his place to Ryan Tannehill, himself a former first-round pick who lost his starting place with the team that picked him in the draft, the Miami Dolphins.
The quarterback picked ahead of Mariota in the 2015 NFL draft, Jameis Winston also finds himself without a starting job. Winston is a free agent after five seasons playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, mostly as a starter. In 2019, he led the league in passing yards but the Bucs finished 7-9 overall, missing the playoffs for the 12th consecutive year, and Winston threw an NFL-worst 30 interceptions.
The Buccaneers signed Tom Brady at the start of free agency, while Winston will, perhaps due to the timing of the COVID-19 outbreak, is waiting for an opportunity.
Like Mariota, it will not be a surprise to see him on the bench when next season begins, whenever it does begin.