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Commanders add Marcus Mariota to QB room ahead of 2024 NFL Draft

The Washington Commanders are bolstering their quarterback room.

Marcus Mariota and the Commanders have agreed to terms on a one-year contract, NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero reported on Tuesday. The contract is for $6 million and can reach up to $10 million based on incentives, Pelissero added.

The contract appears similar on the surface to the one the Vikings are prepared to give Sam Darnold. But the question with Mariota and Washington is where exactly he fits. The Commanders have holdover Sam Howell, who started all 17 games for them last season, as well as the No. 2 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, which could be used on a passer.

Mariota, 30, was Jalen Hurts' backup in Philadelphia last season, completing 15 of his 23 passes (65.2%) for 164 yards, one TD and one INT and rushing eight times for 52 yards. He started 11 games for the Falcons in 2022 but otherwise has seen limited action with three different teams since he was benched as the Titans' starter midway through the 2019 season.

Assuming the Commanders draft a quarterback at No. 2 overall, Mariota could serve as a veteran mentor. The former No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft never panned out as the star some thought he'd be, but he's started 74 career games (34-40 record), throwing for 15,820 yards, 93 TDs and 55 INTs and running for 17 TDs. He's also caught two TD passes in his career, including one in the playoffs off his own pass.

This move to add Mariota makes Howell's future in Washington a question. The NFL's 2023 interceptions, sacks and pass-attempts leader had some tough moments last season under former head coach Ron Rivera. But the 2022 fifth-rounder, who turns 24 in September, also had some high notes, such as in wins over the Broncos and Falcons and good showings in losses to the Eagles and Seahawks.

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