The Indianapolis Colts were interested in trading for Las Vegas Raiders backup quarterback Marcus Mariota before landing Philadelphia Eagles signal-caller Carson Wentz, per Mike Kaye of NJ.com.
The report dropped on the same day the Colts announced that Wentz will be out five to 12 weeks after undergoing a procedure on his left foot. Jacob Eason is filling in as the Colts' starter in Wentz's absence.
Mariota, 27, is entering his seventh NFL season. He spent his first five with the Tennessee Titans, but he lost his job midway through the 2019 season in favor of Ryan Tannehill. Mariota never got the starting gig back and left the team via free agency after the campaign.
The No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 draft found his way to the Raiders, slotting in as the QB2 behind Derek Carr.
Mariota took over for an injured Carr during a late-season home game against the Los Angeles Chargers, completing 17 of 28 passes for 226 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He also rushed nine times for 88 yards and another score in a 30-27 overtime loss.
That's all the action Mariota saw in 2020, and he didn't fare particularly well in six starts in 2019 (59.4 percent completion rate, seven passing touchdowns), so dealing for him might be a risk.
At any rate, the asking price might be high for Mariota anyway, per Vic Tafur of The Athletic:
Vic Tafur @VicTafur
Surgery it is for Wentz. <br>Before you ask about a trade for Mariota, <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Raiders?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Raiders</a> would be ok with Peterman as No. 2 but really like their QB room as is. Would take at least a 3rd-rounder to get them even interested in a trade. <a href="https://t.co/BGijNHqxjx">https://t.co/BGijNHqxjx</a>
Wentz could very well return on the earlier end of that return timeline. However, the pessimistic end has Wentz returning midseason, leaving the Colts in a potential bind.
For now, Eason is the guy. The former Georgia and Washington quarterback was taken in the fourth round of the 2020 draft. He did not see any game time last year.
Lance Zierlein of NFL.com wrote the following scouting report on Eason in advance of the draft.
"His elite size and arm talent are reminiscent of Carson Palmer, but issues with pocket poise and getting through progressions cleanly are more reminiscent of Brock Osweiler. Eason is fun to watch when he's ripping throws around the field and taking deep play-action shots, but a lack of mobility inside and outside the pocket is troubling, considering his ineffectiveness when pressured. He's relatively inexperienced and should continue to develop from the pocket, but poise is hard to fix, and handling exotic blitz packages is not a given. He's a pro-style, play-action-based quarterback with average starter potential and an average backup floor."
The 6'6", 231-pound Eason completed 64.2 percent of his passes for 23 touchdowns (and eight interceptions) during his final season in college for Washington.