HomeSports49ers Warned Against Signing Raiders Free Agent QB: ‘Not a Reliable Player’

49ers Warned Against Signing Raiders Free Agent QB: ‘Not a Reliable Player’


Quarterback Marcus Mariota #8 of the Las Vegas Raiders drops back to pass during the NFL game against the Los Angeles Chargers at Allegiant Stadium on December 17, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Chargers defeated the Raiders in overtime 30-27.

With quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo set to leave, the San Francisco 49ers will likely enter the market for a veteran quarterback.

The Niners committed to Trey Lance as the quarterback of the team’s future when they traded up to take him as the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft. However, San Francisco doesn’t have the option to put all their bets on Lance, and having a backup that can still win and perform reliably is crucial.

Plus, that same quarterback needs to be able to teach Lance. While Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Marcus Mariota could teach Lance a thing or two, Bleacher Report’s Maurice Moton warns “quarterback-needy teams” like San Francisco to avoid Mariota this free agency window.

That’s not due to his intelligence, experience, or even quality of play. But his injury history and lack of time on the field in recent years is a red flag per Moton.

“While Mariota’s dynamic skill set will appeal to teams in need of some offensive sizzle, he’s not a reliable player in terms of availability,” Moton writes. “…Mariota will garner some interest, but teams should offer him a modest one-year deal because of his extensive injury history and recent inactivity. He’s started in just six games since 2019.”

It’s a strong warning, but the stats speak for themselves.

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Mariota’s Injury History

It’s unfortunate when players can’t get over the injury bug, but teams have to make decisions accordingly. Part of the concern with Garoppolo is his injury history, as he missed the majority of the 2018 and 2020 seasons before missing two more games in 2021.

Mariota had similar issues as a Tennessee Titan, battling various injuries over his five seasons in Nashville. He ended up missing just eight games via injury, but it was a consistent cloud hanging over the quarterback’s head.

Considering that Lance likes to use his legs and will inherently face more contact because of that, the Niners need someone that can run head coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense but play in a safe and efficient manner to stay healthy.

The Niners only have to look back at 2018 and 2020, two seasons in which San Francisco had three different quarterbacks start games. It’s one thing to have to turn to a backup, but the more consistency and reliability the 49ers can have at quarterback, the better.

Steve Young Weighs In on 49ers QB Situation

One former 49er that believes its crucial for San Francisco to nail the backup behind Lance is Steve Young. The three-time Super Bowl champion needs no introduction, and has experience being the starter and backup.

Speaking on KNBR, Young explained that signing a competitive backup for the young QB is as valuable as any blocker or weapon.

“I think Trey is so raw,” Young said “With the number of snaps he’s had in college, it should be very obvious to all of us that there’s just not the pure number of snaps, and it’s so much about — I’ll call it metering the position, just all of it that you figure out in college from playing tough ball games. The fact is that didn’t happen very much… I’m a big fan of [putting] somebody around you that can push you. So, I’m not looking to not do that, but more than anything, he needs someone older who can tell him ‘this matters’ or ‘this doesn’t matter.’ ‘You better be on this one,’ and if you’re not on this one, teach him how to study and how to memorize.”

No matter how well he plays, there will be growing pains for Lance. And if things go worse than expected, the Niners need a contingency QB that can step in and win. A player of that quality will also be viewed as a “competitor” for Lance, which would satisfy what Young is asking for.

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