Washington Football Team coach Ron Rivera is on the hunt for an upgrade at quarterback, and insider Michael Lombardi, a former NFL GM, thinks Marcus Mariota from the Raiders might be the "hunted.''
From Lombardi: "I know there's one team in the NFC East, the Washington Football Team, that's extremely interested in Mariota.''
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Lombardi is absolutely plugged in to the NFL rumor mill, so the next issue here for Washington - which just signed Taylor Heinicke to a two-year contract, is expected to bring back Kyle Allen and could end up starting (or parting ways with) Alex Smith - is how extremely is "extremely''?
Does it mean an affordable trade for Mariota, who once upon a time was the No. 2 overall pick in his 2015 Draft and then started 61 games during five seasons with the Titans? Does it mean viewing his $11 million cap hit as a cheap gamble even if he only ends up a backup, as was the case in 2020, when Mariota worked in Las Vegas as the backup to Derek Carr? (Yes, the same Derek Carr who is also connected to WFT via the Rumor Mill.)
Does it mean Mariota can be compared favorably to the Jets' Sam Darnold? Does it mean Rivera thinks the WFT, the defending NFC East champs, have a roster strong enough to "settle'' on a young journeyman rather than bothering to chase gold in the likes of Russell Wilson or Deshaun Watson?
We're betting Lombardi has the right answer on Mariota in terms of Washington's interest. But Mariota vs. all the other potential options? That issue brings up more questions, at this time, than it does answers.