The Las Vegas Raiders took a gamble on former No. 2 overall pick Marcus Mariota last offseason, signing him to a two-year, $17.6 million contract. He only made one appearance on the season, but he looked better than he has in years.
The former Oregon Duck completed 17-of-28 passes for 226 yards with 1 touchdown to 1 interception while adding 88 rushing yards and another TD on 9 carries. Combine that stellar outing with Mariota's draft pedigree, and it's not hard to see why some QB-needy teams might be interested in trading for the former Heisman Trophy winner.
Marcus Mariota Trade
3. Indianapolis Colts
The Indianapolis Colts have been linked to another former No. 2 overall pick in Carson Wentz, but pivoting to Mariota could make a ton of sense. GM Chris Ballard has historically been unwilling to overpay for players, whether it's via trade or free agency, and the Eagles' asking price might be too rich for his blood. Mariota would cost significantly less than Wentz, but he brings a similar upside to the table. He would be a rock-solid backup plan if Indy misses out on a big-name QB this offseason.
2. Chicago Bears
The Chicago Bears are believed to be the other team involved in the Wentz sweepstakes, but GM Ryan Pace would be better off looking elsewhere. This Bears roster is not built to support any quarterback, let alone one who was as bad as Wentz last year. Paying up to land him via trade would cost a ton, both in cap space and draft capital. A move like that would make it almost impossible for the Bears to properly address the significant holes they have along the O-Line and skill-position group. Taking a low-cost, high-reward gamble on a guy like Mariota makes a lot more sense, as he wouldn't prevent Chicago from addressing other positions of need.
1. New England Patriots
The New England Patriots are likely going to be in the market for another QB after Cam Newton's disastrous 2020 campaign. While the Newton experiment didn't workout, it wasn't hard to see why Bill Belichick took a flyer on him. He's a supreme talent who was only on the market due to a rash of injuries. Those same qualities could make him interested in Mariota as well. A healthy Mariota obviously gives New England a better chance to win than Jarrett Stidham, or the version of Newton we saw last year. Adding Mariota would be the type of low-risk, high-reward move we've seen Belichick make time and time again over the years.
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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.