Falcons bring in free agent competition for Desmond Ridder

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Following an eventful first day of the legal tampering period, the Falcons continue to shop in free agency. Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo report that Atlanta has brought in some free agent competition for Desmond Ridder, inking Taylor Heinicke to a contract.

Tom Pelissero reports the deal is worth up to $20 million over two years, which would make him one of the highest-paid backups in the league. Hopefully, it’s riddled with incentives and isn’t a $10 million cap hit in 2023.

Despite Desmond Ridder showing poise and incrementally growing each outing, he didn’t do enough to cement himself as the starter for the 2023 campaign. Terry Fontenot was always going to bring in multiple quarterbacks this offseason.

Heinicke is incredibly athletic and gave the Commanders a real shot to get into the postseason last year, but Carson Wentz made sure that didn’t come to fruition. With Heinicke, Washington went 5-3-1 while he completed 62% of his passes with 12 touchdowns and six interceptions.

The 29-year-old Georgia native started 24 games for the Commanders over the past two seasons and will compete for the starting gig in Atlanta. Heinicke will be expected to back up Ridder with a chance to make a spot start if the starter deals with an injury.

The Falcons surely want Ridder to come out of the competition as the starter, but it would be a wild sequence of events if Heinicke somehow beats out the second-year signal caller out of Cincinnati.

Photographer: Lee Coleman/Icon Sportswire

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