Early Friday morning, the Eagles agreed to terms with former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Marcus Mariota on a one-year deal worth up to $8 million, a league source confirmed to The Inquirer. The news was first reported by ESPN.
Mariota, the 2014 Hesiman Trophy winner, gives the Eagles stability as a backup quarterback after the team lost Gardner Minshew to the Colts in free agency. Mariota, 29, is expected to compete with Ian Book for the main backup spot behind 24-year-old starter and 2022 NFL MVP finalist Jalen Hurts.
Mariota, the No. 2 pick in the 2015 draft, has played for the Titans, Raiders and Falcons. Over eight seasons, Mariota has appeared in 87 career games (74 starts), recording a 62.9 completion percentage with 92 touchdowns to 54 interceptions. Similar to Hurts, Mariota is also a dual threat with his 2,012 career rushing yards and 17 touchdowns. Last season, Mariota began the year as the Falcons’ starter before being replaced in December by rookie Desmond Ridder. The Falcons went 5-8 with Mariota under center.
While Mariota has struggled to hold his own as the main man throughout his professional career, he gives the Eagles a more serviceable backup to Hurts. When Hurts injured his throwing shoulder last December, the Eagles lost back-to-back games with Minshew as the backup. The run-pass option has proven to be a dynamic factor for Philadelphia’s offense, but that element of the playbook disappeared drastically with Hurts out of the lineup. With Mariota as the QB2, the Eagles don’t have to give up many — if any — of the designed quarterback rushes.
Mariota, a native of Honolulu, boasts an instant connection with star receiver AJ Brown. The duo previously played together during Brown’s rookie season in 2019 with the Titans. Mariota also played with wide receiver Devon Allen and special teams coordinator Michael Clay during their college days together at Oregon.
»READ MORE: 3 big Eagles questions as new league year starts: What will a Jalen Hurts contract extension look like?