The Atlanta Falcons quarterback situation is still up in the air despite rookie Desmond Ridder looking serviceable.
Beat: Unknown if Falcons will stick with Ridder https://t.co/72dsLzxvwc
— NBC Sports EDGE Football (@NBCSEdgeFB) February 2, 2023
Marcus Mariota started 13 games for the Falcons this season with rookie Desmond Ridder ending the season with his first four career starts. The Falcons head into the off-season uncertain how their 2023 depth chart will look at quarterback.
It seems likely Mariota has played his final game for the Falcons. They will save $12 million in cap space for next season by cutting Mariota. He always seemed like a bridge quarterback for Atlanta when it signed him this off-season.
However, Falcons coach Arthur Smith wasn’t saying one way or the other what the team expects to do with Mariota. “There will be conversations. Nothing to update now,” Smith said, via Josh Kendall of TheAthletic.com. “Like a lot of our guys that are under contract, decisions have to be made, but nothing has been made right now.”
Mariota threw for 2,219 yards, 15 touchdowns and nine interceptions before being benched and replaced by Ridder. Mariota left the team, underwent a knee procedure and did not practice the rest of the season.
Ridder, a third-round selection, will fit on the depth chart somewhere. However, the Falcons stopped short of declaring him the starter. There have been rumors of them trading for Lamar Jackson or Derek Carr.
Ridder completed 63.5 percent of his passes for 708 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. The Falcons went 2-2 in his starts.
“What we appreciate about Desmond is the way he handled himself, his poise, his confidence, the type of teammate he was,” General Manager Terry Fontenot said.
The NFC South is now one of the worst divisions in the NFL. Whoever the QB is for this team, Atlanta will not likely be favored to win the division according to Georgia sports-books.