If the Miami Dolphins choose to pursue a backup quarterback whose skill set can somewhat mirror Tagovailoa’s, then they may want to take a hard look at Marcus Mariota.
The locker room and quarterback room connections would be obvious. Mariota is a legend in his native Hawaii, and Tagovailoa had a poster of him on his wall growing up. They attended a throwing camp together when Tagovailoa was in fourth grade, and they both starred at St. Louis School in Honolulu.
By all accounts, Mariota is a very positive locker room presence, and would bring a veteran ability to step in and be the starter should the situation arise. While he has not been a full-time starter since early in the 2019 season, he was still occasionally used in gadget plays for the Raiders over the last couple of seasons. In 2020, he started one game in place of Derek Carr, nearly leading Las Vegas to victory over the Chargers by passing for 226 yards and a touchdown.
Mariota will be a free agent this coming off season, and will likely have a handful of potential suitors. But the Dolphins could end up being the most attractive, and they have the money to spend to make a deal happen. We know that the franchise is not afraid to invest in a backup QB, given the $5 million total that they handed to Jacoby Brissett last year. Mariota’s contract with the Raiders was worth $3.5 million, so Miami could give him a raise and still allocate the same money to QB2.