Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN insider names Marcus Mariota as option for 49ers to pair with Trey Lance

Mar 13, 2022 at 3:57 PM--

The San Francisco 49ers signed Nate Sudfeld to a one-year deal that includes $2 million fully guaranteed, a sign that the team hopes for the quarterback to be on the roster in 2022. Aside from the obvious next move—trading Jimmy Garoppolo—the Niners may not be done tweaking their quarterback position.

Most believe that San Francisco will consider adding a quarterback with starting experience to pair with last year's No. 3 overall pick, Trey Lance. Sudfeld spent most of last season on the practice squad and has never started an NFL game.

Free agency officially kicks off on Wednesday. Although, teams can begin negotiations on Monday. ESPN's Jeremy Fowler broke down some of the most recent free agency chatter and touched on the 49ers' quarterback situation. While his colleague, Dan Graziano, sees Marcus Mariota as an option for the Indianapolis Colts, Fowler sees San Francisco as an option too.

"Mariota is looking for the chance to start again and is open to being a 1B option as a potential bridge starter for a draft pick, I'm told," wrote Fowler. "He could get his shot in Indy, as Dan pointed out. Another option is San Francisco, assuming it trades Jimmy Garoppolo. Mariota could start games while Trey Lance continues to develop, knowing the two have similar skill sets as mobile quarterbacks with run-pass option ability."

While Fowler sees Mariota as a potential 1B option in San Francisco, most believe Lance will be the starting quarterback in 2022. It is unknown how Mariota might feel about serving as a No. 2 quarterback versus a 1B option, as that would likely be his role in Santa Clara.

First, the 49ers must rid themselves of Garoppolo's over $25 million salary-cap figure. By Wednesday, NFL teams must be at or below the $208.2 million salary cap, and San Francisco is currently sitting at about $9.6 million over that number, per OverTheCap.

The Tennessee Titans drafted Mariota (6-4, 222) out of Oregon with the No. 2 overall pick in 2015. He completed 18-of-30 attempts for 230 yards through 11 game appearances in two seasons with the Las Vegas Raiders.

Mariota, 28, has completed 62.8 percent of his passes for 13,437 yards with 77 touchdowns and 45 interceptions in 74 game appearances and 61 starts through his seven NFL seasons.

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