There’s a lot on the line in this Week 12 contest because Atlanta can claim the top spot in the NFC South with a victory or effectively dash their playoff hopes with a loss. In that same breath, Ridder gets another opportunity to prove he can be a franchise quarterback.
However, as far as I’m concerned, the Falcons should be in the market for a signal caller this offseason, regardless of what Ridder shows or doesn’t show over the final seven games. His potential limits the ceiling of the offense and in turn the entire team.
Whether it’s a free agent or a draft prospect, Arthur Smith and Terry Fontenot cannot be complacent at the most important position in the sport.
Kirk Cousins is an intriguing option. He wouldn’t take any capital other than a short-term, high AAV contract and would provide a veteran presence the Falcons haven’t had since Matt Ryan. His Achilles injury certainly complicates things, though.
The trade market could be another avenue. There are two possibilities if this is the direction the Falcons chose. First, acquiring a quarterback from a team that is in a position to select one of Drake Maye or Caleb Williams. Think Kyler Murray from the Cardinals or Justin Fields from the Bears.
On the flip side of things, the Falcons could mortgage their future in the form of multiple first-round picks and/or players to trade with a club that is in a position to land Maye or Williams but prefers their in-house quarterback.
And according to Ian Rapoport, Chicago would have to be “blown away” by a 2024 prospect in order to move on from Justin Fields.
The Chicago Bears would have to be "blown away" by a quarterback during the 2024 draft evaluation process in order move on from Justin Fields, per @RapSheet.
— Daniel Greenberg (@ChiSportUpdates) November 19, 2023
So, it looks like they could once again auction off their top draft pick as they did last year when they moved the 1st overall pick to the Panthers, who ended up drafting Bryce Young.
As of right now, the Bears own the 1st and 4th overall picks. The latter being their own and the former being Carolina’s pick. If Ryan Pace wanted to continue to build around Justin Fields, acquiring even more draft capital could be advantageous.
The Falcons would be fools not to send a similar package that the Panthers did last year — two first-rounders and two second-rounders along with D.J. Moore — for the opportunity to land Caleb Williams or Drake Maye.
Photographer: David Jensen/Icon Sportswire