With multiple proven quarterback options available, the Falcons vehemently declined interest, consistently backing Desmond Ridder.
Derek Carr and Jimmy Gorropolo were the most readily available signal callers, but at every step of the offseason, everyone from Atlanta’s organization showed support for the third-round pick out of Cincinnati.
It’s clear the Falcons are at least giving Ridder the 2023 campaign to prove he’s the franchise quarterback of the future. He’s reportedly going to be given a lengthy run to show he’s the long-term answer. That’s not very specific, but let’s assume it is one full season… what about after that?
For whatever reason, if Ridder doesn’t impress Terry Fontenot and Arthur Smith, the Falcons will once again be in the quarterback market, and there will be proven commodities available.
Kirk Cousins isn’t a needle mover but is capable of running Smith’s offense. Ryan Tannehill has an obvious connection to Atlanta’s head coach and could be had for pennies on the dollar. However, there’s more than one way to acquire a signal caller. Free agency is one avenue, the draft is another, but trading for one is also on the table.
Daniel Jeremiah of NFL Network appeared on “The Rich Eisen Show” recently and suggested the Falcons could be a landing spot for Trey Lance if the 49ers were to trade the former first-round pick.
“Just file this away. This is with no insider information, just looking at all these rosters and these teams, the Atlanta Falcons, if Ridder’s not working, and you’ve kind of designed this offense with Bijan Robinson and [Tyler] Allgeier, and you know how Arthur Smith loves to run the football, if the 49ers are a little down on Trey Lance and somehow it doesn’t work out [with Ridder] in Atlanta, I wouldn’t mind that marriage,” Jeremiah said.
There have been no credible reports to suggest the Niners are looking to move Lance, but it’s in the realm of possibilities, given the breakout of Brock Purdy and Lance’s lack of development. However, if there’s one club that will hang onto multiple starting-caliber quarterbacks, it’s San Fran, who have experienced frequent injuries at the position.
Though Lance hasn’t played much at all and hasn’t looked great even when he does, Jeremiah isn’t discouraged. “I still believe in the guy’s talent,” Jeremiah continued to Eisen. “He just needs to get a chance to play. He hasn’t had a chance to play.”
As far as 2023 is concerned, the Falcons will roll with Desmond Ridder, and Lance will likely be a backup for the 49ers. What transpires over the season will determine what the next offseason brings for both clubs.
Photographer: Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire