Not since Nick Papagiorgio — aka Rusty Griswold from the movie “Vegas Vacation” starring Chevy Chase — has someone taken Las Vegas by storm and profited nearly $1 million in a single night like Marcus Mariota just did in the Week 15 opener. Against the Chargers on Thursday night, the Raiders quarterback was thrust into action in the first quarter after starter Derek Carr suffered a groin injury that sidelined him for the rest of the game. Because the injury happened with three full quarters to play, that opened the door for Mariota to not only see significant playing time but earn a serious raise in the process.
This offseason, Mariota inked a two-year, $17.6 million contract to join Las Vegas and back up Carr. As Field Yates of ESPN points out, there’s an incentive to Maritoa’s contact that if he plays more than 60% of the snaps in any game in 2020, he earns a crisp $200K. That payday could have reached $325K had the Raiders won, but Justin Herbert’s goal-line plunge in overtime booted any chance of that extra $125K landing in Mariota’s pocket.
Don’t feel too bad for him though as his base salary for 2021 has now increased by $625K thanks to playing in more than 60% of their offensive snaps in this matchup as well. That means, Mariota made around $825K for his efforts against Los Angeles. Not too shabby for a Thursday night out in Vegas.
Despite being on the losing end, Mariota was extremely impressive and nearly had the Raiders pulling out the win. The former No. 2 overall pick completed over 60% of his throws for 226 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. He also rushed for a game-high 88 yards and added another score with his legs. While a lot may be made about this quick cash-grab against Los Angeles following Carr’s injury, this performance could even lead to a bigger payout if some quarterback-needy team this offseason sees Mariota as a potential starter for them in 2021. At that point, it’d be safe to say he’s on a heater.