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Veteran QB Marcus Mariota takes pay cut, remains with Raiders

Quarterback Marcus Mariota, who appeared in just one game last season with the Las Vegas Raiders, has agreed to restructure his contract with the AFC West franchise. Screenshot courtesy of Raiders/YouTube
Quarterback Marcus Mariota, who appeared in just one game last season with the Las Vegas Raiders, has agreed to restructure his contract with the AFC West franchise. Screenshot courtesy of Raiders/YouTube

March 24 (UPI) -- Veteran quarterback Marcus Mariota has restructured his contract and will remain with the Las Vegas Raiders in 2021.

Sources told NFL Network, ESPN and KHON-TV Honolulu on Tuesday that Mariota -- who was scheduled to make $10.6 million in base salary next season -- took a pay cut. His new pact is for one year and worth $3.5 million, but could increase to $8 million due to incentives.

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Mariota -- a Hawaii native -- joined the Raiders in March 2020 when he signed a two-year, $17.6 million deal in free agency.

"I'm just excited to be a Raider," Mariota told KHON-TV. "Everyone talks about Las Vegas being the ninth [Hawaiian] island and for me, this is the closest I can get to playing for my hometown."

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The six-year veteran appeared in just one game last season. He completed 17 of 28 passes for 226 yards, a touchdown and an interception in the Dec. 17 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. Mariota also ran for 88 yards and a touchdown in the Week 15 loss, which came in relief of injured Raiders starter Derek Carr.

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Mariota battled several injuries in training camp and started the 2020 season on injured reserve.

Carr, 29, has started 110 of the Raiders' 112 regular-season games over the last seven years. The three-time Pro Bowl selection completed 67.3% of his throws for a career-high 4,103 yards last season. He also had 27 touchdown passes and nine interceptions in his 16 starts in 2020.

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The Raiders are 47-36 with Carr as their starter since they selected the Fresno State product in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft.

Mariota, 27, was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. He spent his first five seasons with the Tennessee Titans. Mariota lost his starting job to Ryan Tannehill during the 2019 season. He then signed with the Raiders the next off-season.

The Oregon product has completed 62.9% of his throws and thrown for 13,433 yards, 77 touchdowns and 45 interceptions in 64 career appearances. Mariota also has 251 carries for 1,487 rushing yards and 12 rushing touchdowns in six seasons.

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Mariota remains one of the highest-paid backup quarterbacks in the NFL. His $3.5 million salary for 2021 ranks No. 34 at the position, in terms of average annual salary, according to Spotrac.com.

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