Falcons 2023 Offseason Overhaul: Quarterback

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I’ll be starting a new series for this NFL offseason, going through every positional group and laying out what I would do for the Falcons heading into the 2023 season. Right now, the Falcons should have a lot of cap space, and they could use it all on a big-time quarterback. I have my doubts about that, so I’m going to lay out what I think Atlanta will and should do. I’ll be moving on to every positional group after this, so stay tuned! If you want to check out my articles from my previous offseason series — One Free Agent, One Draft Pick, and One Trade — those are linked below:

Current Rostered Quarterbacks

QB1 Desmond Ridder

QB2 Marcus Mariota

QB3 Logan Woodside

I think the focus should be on getting a quality backup for Desmond Ridder. I don’t think the Falcons go big game hunting for a quarterback. Ridder hasn’t guaranteed himself the starting job for good, but I want to see him operate with a full offseason as the starter and with what should be a better roster around him. We’ll see if that’s the route the Falcons go.

1) Cut Marcus Mariota

There are reports that Marcus Mariota basically quit on the Falcons after being benched, and Atlanta will incur a small penalty and recoup a lot of money if they cut ties before June 1st. They can get a better backup for Desmond Ridder at a lower price or draft a quarterback. Give me the cap savings over a guy who is sure to be cut before March 5th, when he’s owed a $3 million roster bonus.

Dead Money: $2.5 Million

Cap Savings: $12 Million

2) Sign Taylor Heinicke, Gardner Minshew, or Mike White

Any of these three guys could be a solid backup or potentially even win the starting job in Atlanta. Unless something drastic happens on draft night, I’m not interested in any of the quarterbacks who will be available with the 8th pick. If the Ridder experiment doesn’t work out, the Falcons can move on from there. I like any of these guys to come into this quarterback room, but give me Heinicke. The Commanders are probably going to let him go in favor of Carson Wentz or Sam Howell, but I like the gunslinger to bring a little energy to the team if he does end up starting.

Heinicke signs a two-year, $12 million deal

Overhauled Rostered Quarterbacks

QB1 Desmond Ridder

QB2 Taylor Heinicke

There isn’t anything spectacular here, and other positional groups are going to receive a much bigger makeover. The Falcons save some money by moving on from Mariota, and they don’t reach on a quarterback in the draft. If the 2022 third round pick doesn’t show that he has it next year, you make decisions from there. Right now, this is what I think the Falcons should try and roll with unless something big falls into their laps. With Woodside going to the practice squad, the current roster sits at 2.

Current Roster: 2

Draft Picks Remaining:
  • Round 1, Pick 8
  • Round 2, Pick 45
  • Round 3, Pick 76
  • Round 4, Pick 110 (from TEN)
  • Round 4, Pick 113
  • Round 5, Pick 155 (from JAX)
  • Round 6, Pick 182
  • Round 7, Pick 226 (from LV)
  • Round 7, Pick 249 (from BUF)
2023 Cap Space Allotted: -$6 million

Quarterback: -$6 million

Photographer: Lee Coleman/Icon Sportswire

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