Raiders are tar­get­ing free-agent QB Mar­i­ota

Times-Herald (Vallejo) - - SPORTS - By Jon Becker

It may be time to put the Tom Brady to the Raiders ru­mors to rest. It sounds as if the Raiders won’t be mov­ing on from quar­ter­back Derek Carr, but rather they’re in­tent on get­ting his at­ten­tion this off-sea­son in the form of some com­pe­ti­tion.

The Raiders have real in­ter­est in Ti­tans free-agent quar­ter­back Mar­cus Mar­i­ota, ac­cord­ing to the NFL Net­work’s Mike Garo­folo. He re­ported Fri­day the team would like to have a vet­eran quar­ter­back around who’s tal­ented enough to be a threat to the start­ing job Carr’s held the past six sea­sons.

Of course, Garo­folo’s re­port comes with the caveat Mar­i­ota, who lost his start­ing job to Ryan Tan­nehill last sea­son, could find an eas­ier path to a start­ing job else­where in the NFL. Both the Charg­ers and Colts seem to have fewer ob­sta­cles in Mar­i­ota’s way back onto the field, and he’s even been ru­mored to be a can­di­date to re­place Brady, should the six­time Su­per Bowl champ leave in free agency.

In ad­di­tion, if Mar­i­ota was to sign with a team with a po­ten­tially vul­ner­a­ble starter, the Bears with Mitch Tru­bisky would be more at­trac­tive.

The Raiders’ op­tions for a vet­eran free-agent quar­ter­back to come in to push Carr may in­clude Teddy Bridge­wa­ter of the Saints or maybe even Wash­ing­ton’s Case Keenum, who is said to be fo­cus­ing on find­ing a start­ing job. Of course, the Raiders — who have just DeShone Kizer still un­der con­tract as a backup can­di­date — could also de­cide to find a quar­ter­back in the draft

to groom as Carr’s re­place­ment.

The 26-year-old Mar­i­ota, who was the sec­ond over­all pick in the 2015 draft and Raiders gen­eral man­ager Mike May­ock’s toprated quar­ter­back ahead of top pick Jameis Win­ston, lost his start­ing job in Ten­nessee in Week 6

this past sea­son. Be­fore he was benched to al­low for a break­out sea­son for Tan­nehill, Mar­i­ota had been the Ti­tans’ starter for four years and threw for 13,207 yards, 76 touch­downs and 44 in­ter­cep­tions.

“The guy com­pleted 70 per­cent of his passes. He had al­most a three-toone touch­down-to-in­ter­cep­tion ra­tio. I think we were No. 11 in the league in to­tal yards, were sev­enth

in third-down con­ver­sions,” May­ock told re­porters last week at the Com­bine. ‘The dis­con­nect was we didn’t score a lot of points. You’re (No.) 11 in yards and (No.) 24 in points there’s an is­sue. It’s de­fense. It’s spe­cial teams. It’s not scor­ing in the red zone and not scor­ing in goal-to-go. To me, those are the is­sues. Derek Carr played at a high level. I’m very happy with Derek Carr.”

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