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The Philadelphia Eagles added some quarterback depth Thursday night when they agreed to a one-year, $5 million deal with Marcus Mariota, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Schefter noted the contract could be worth up to $8 million.
The 29-year-old became available after the Atlanta Falcons released him after one year of a two-year deal. The move saved the NFC South team approximately $12 million in salary-cap space and positioned it with more financial flexibility heading into the free-agency portion of the offseason.
Atlanta started the 2022 campaign with Mariota under center instead of Desmond Ridder, but the veteran went just 5-8 as a starter before the team made the switch to see what it had in the rookie.
Mariota ended up completing 61.3 percent of his passes for 2,219 yards, 15 touchdowns and nine interceptions while adding 438 yards and four touchdowns on the ground.
He will likely always be remembered most for his collegiate career at Oregon when he won the 2014 Heisman Trophy and led the Ducks to the College Football Playoff National Championship Game, where they lost to Ohio State.
That was enough to convince the Tennessee Titans to select him with the No. 2 overall pick of the 2015 NFL draft, and he ended up starting 61 games for the team during the course of his first five seasons.
While there were some consistency issues, he did have two years with more than 3,000 passing yards, including in 2016 when he threw for 3,426 yards, 26 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
Yet the Titans eventually moved forward with Ryan Tannehill as the starter, and Mariota spent the 2020 and 2021 seasons as a backup for the Las Vegas Raiders.
The Falcons gave him an opportunity to start, but the switch to Ridder and his eventual release seemed to indicate Mariota was more of a backup at this point of his career.
Still, he can be solid in that role and gives his new team the opportunity to use different packages where he can utilize his legs, which the Raiders did at times when he was backing up Derek Carr.