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Raiders’ Marcus Mariota Says He’s Backup

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Las Vegas Raiders’ quarterback Marcus Mariota, whom the team recently signed in free agency, clearly understands his current role on the team: the backup to starter Derek Carr.

Mariota, who was the starting quarterback for the Tennessee Titans for his entire five-year career up until he was benched during the 2019 season for Ryan Tannehill, is getting $17.6 million for two years with $7.5 million guaranteed this year in his new deal with the Raiders, but knows it is Carr’s team.

“First and foremost, this is Derek’s team, and I understand that,” Mariota said, during an interview with Hawaii-based KHON-TV on Tuesday (h/t ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez).

It is an interesting development as many expected the Raiders to part with Carr during this offseason, and Carr had been linked to such teams as the Chicago Bears.

Carr signed a five-year, $125 million extension with the Raiders back in the summer of 2017, but has since fallen out of favor, at times, with the new regime.

“I understand that going in. … My priority going into free agency was to be a part of a team that I felt could bring out the best in me. Whatever happens, whatever comes of that, I’m ready for. But I do know, to play starting quarterback in the NFL, to be at that spot, is not an 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, and that’s what we have to do. And 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.”

“These last five years have been a blessing, no doubt,” Mariota said. “I think Nashville has treated us very well. But this is a great opportunity for us, and it’s an opportunity to be closer to home and also to be part of a great organization.”

Mariota, a native of Hawaii, pointed to Las Vegas being known as the ninth Hawaiian island due to the city’s popularity with locals as something that he noted when exploring his options in free agency.

“The bonus and the cherry on top of it was being closer to home and being in Vegas,” Mariota said. “And again, I really can’t stress it enough, we’re so excited.”

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Anthony DiMoro is the creator of Sports Rants and the CEO of Elite Rank Media. He is a former Contributor for Forbes and the Huffington Post where he covered sports, social media, and SEO. Anthony formerly hosted the 'Forbes SportsMoney Podcast'.

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