After trading away quarterback Carson Wentz, the Indianapolis Colts will be on the hunt for his replacement. Could that come in the form of free-agent quarterback Marcus Mariota?
With the legal tampering period opening on Monday at 4:00 p.m. ET, teams can begin negotiating with players set to hit free agency. Mariota will be one of those players, and the Colts seem to have interest.
According to Dan Graziano and Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, Mariota has been the name they’ve heard most when it comes to the Colts’ search for a new quarterback.
The name I’m hearing the most as the Indianapolis Colts’ answer at quarterback is free-agent Marcus Mariota, who has been Derek Carr’s backup with the Raiders over the past couple of seasons. There are also people who think Minnesota’s Cousins could end up in Indianapolis, though it’s unclear if Cousins is going anywhere.
Mariota would be an interesting option for the Colts. He would be a cheap, upside play at the position. Mariota should be able to run the RPO concepts with relative ease while being a quarterback who’s willing to take the layup throws—an aspect that Wentz refused to do during his season in Indy.
Mariota hasn’t been a starter since 2019 when he was with the Tennessee Titans. He was eventually replaced by Ryan Tannehill halfway through that season and then signed with the Raiders as Derek Carr’s backup since then.
Mariota would be one of the ideal boom/bust choices for the Colts in 2022. He could turn into a solid starter, giving the Colts a chance to compete in the dreaded AFC landscape. Or he could help put the Colts in a position to move up in the 2023 draft, which is supposedly filled with much better quarterback play.
Regardless, Mariota’s name should be one to keep an eye on as the legal tampering period opens Monday.