2. Cleveland Browns
Jacoby Brissett is headed to free agency and will likely be looking for a team that at least holds a possibility of starting. The Browns have Deshaun Watson on a contract that is going to keep the quarterback the starter no matter how he plays this season. Watson was outplayed by Brissett in the 2022 season and didn’t look close to the quarterback he once was in Houston.
Cleveland needs a reliable second option and is dealing with limited cap space taking them out of the running for any top backup options. If forced into action Mariota paired with Nick Chubb would be an interesting duo giving the Browns at least a chance of holding the football and competing.
The Browns have a lot of questions to answer this off-season and the backup quarterback is going to be very low on that list. This gives Mariota a great chance to return to the AFC and attempt to rebuild a bit of value in a backup role.
Cleveland could opt to use Mariota as the Raiders did as well creating wildcat packages for short-yardage situations allowing Marcus to do what he does best.