There has been a dozen or so rumors about quarterbacks heading to the Pittsburgh Steelers over the last few weeks.  Everybody from Matt Stafford to Deshaun Watson, and everyone in between.  There is a quarterback who may be available that no one is talking about however.  There’s a certain backup quarterback with the Las Vegas Raiders who should be on the Steelers short list.  A trade for Marcus Mariota would be the best possible move to solve the Steelers quarterback situation in 2021.

The Trade:

We all know how much Kevin Colbert likes dealing with the Las Vegas Raiders.  He has twice fleeced this franchise out of draft picks for less than stellar wide receivers. This fact may make Raiders general manager Mike Mayock a little apprehensive about picking up the phone when the Steelers call.  All kidding aside, these teams do seem to have a good rapport.

The Raiders will be motivated to move Marcus Mariota this off-season due to salary cap restraints.  This is a team that is currently $22 million over the cap.  That’s with close to $30 million committed to two quarterbacks in Mariota and Derek Carr.  Mariota has one year left on his deal at $10 million, with zero dead cap if the Raiders move him.

We have to feel like a third round pick would get a deal done for Marcus Mariota.  Las Vegas would turn a relatively cheap free agent signing into a tidy profit.  Meanwhile, the Steelers might once again get great value from a trade with the Raiders.

The Player:

Marcus Mariota was the second overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft from the University of Oregon.  He won the Heisman Trophy in 2014 where he threw for over four thousand yards and had 42 touchdown.  He stands 6’4’, and weighs 212 pounds with immense athletic talent.  By all accounts he is everything you would want in a modern day quarterback.

Mariota spent five seasons with the Titans before signing as a free agent with the Raiders.  He was replaced as a starter by Ryan Tannehill in 2019, and could never again regain his position.  There were some bright spots for him in Tennessee however.  Mariota’s best season was in 2016 where he threw for 3,500 yards 26 touchdowns.

Injuries are a bit of a concern with this player.  Mariota has never played a full season in the NFL.  He has had several significant injuries in his short career.  Some of these include a broken fibula in 2016, along with a sprained knee and shoulder in 2015.  The good news is he had the entire 2020 season to heal after playing sparingly as Derek Carr’s backup.

The Skinny:

We have been saying here at Steelers Sanctuary that the Steelers need to move on from Ben Roethlisberger since 2018.  It’s time for the Steelers to blow it up  Now Pittsburgh may not have a choice.  His $41 million cap hit is just too much for this team.  Especially when you consider the cap situation the Steelers find themselves in.  Steelers 2021 salary cap is a disaster

A trade for Marcus Mariota makes all the sense in the world.  He is the perfect fit in new offensive coordinator Matt  Canada’s system.  An athletic quarterback with a big arm, and even bigger pedigree.  Forget the crazy names like Sam Darnold, Deshaun Watson, and Mathew Stafford.  This is the kind of under the radar move Kevin Colbert is famous for.  If there is to be a new quarterback for the Steelers in 2021, don’t be surprised if that person is Marcus Mariota.