The NFC South was by far the worst division in football this year. Every team finished with a sub-.500 record, and the division-winning Buccaneers were smacked in the first round of the playoffs by the Cowboys. The Falcons, Saints, and Panthers are all still searching for a franchise quarterback, and with many expecting Tom Brady to sign elsewhere, you can add Tampa to that growing list. Adam Schefter reported that all four teams will be in the market for a new quarterback.
Adam adds Carr will have plenty of suitors: "The entire NFC South is expected to be in the market for a new quarterback." pic.twitter.com/AQrdWHWaPR
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) January 21, 2023
For the Falcons, that means Desmond Ridder doesn’t have the 2023 job locked up, nor should he. The third-round pick had impressive moments during his four-game mini-audition, but it wasn’t the performance that cemented his position. There were plenty of other unsightly moments. Still, Ridder improved each and every time he took the field; that’s all you can ask of a third-round pick.
The Falcons aren’t going to pass up an opportunity to get better at the position. Derek Carr is an obvious candidate. The veteran is going to be playing in a different uniform in 2023; it’s just not clear which one it will be. Ryan Tannehill is another name floating out there, and given his ties to Arthur Smith, that scenario feels possible. Lamar Jackson is a potential blockbuster trade candidate, though it feels like the Ravens will do all they can to keep him in Baltimore.
There will be plenty of quarterbacks on the move this offseason, which doesn’t even mention the stellar class of the 2023 NFL draft. Bryce Yong and CJ Stroud feel out of reach unless the Falcons trade up from No. 8, but Will Levis could be in play as Atlanta’s first pick. There are a ton of different directions the Falcons could go.
If it were me, I wouldn’t do anything significant unless I was landing a superstar. Derek Carr, Ryan Tannehill, and any other veteran just don’t do it for me. Unless you can get Lamar Jackson, it makes sense to roll with Desmond Ridder and give him the reins for a full season. We’ll see what Terry Fontenot and Arthur Smith do.
Photographer: Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire