The NFL quarterback carousel is PPV entertainment every offseason. It’s become more exciting than some teams’ seasons, and this cycle’s revolved mostly around Aaron Rodgers and Lamar Jackson. The former is still in discussions to be traded to the Jets, while the latter seems set to return to the Ravens at some point, but it wasn’t always like that.
The Falcons were mentioned time and time again as a possible landing spot for the 26-year-old MVP, and it made sense for a few reasons. The schematic fit was the most apparent. Arthur Smith’s run heavy offense would thrive with a dynamic signal caller like Lamar Jackson. Moreover, the logistics check out.
When the offseason started, the Falcons had a bevy of cap space and draft capital to facilitate a trade and subsequent contract extension that Jackson so desperately wanted. Regardless of those factors, the narrative never got off the ground.
Baltimore placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on Jackson, giving him the ability to negotiate with other teams. Shortly after that news broke, reports indicated the Falcons wouldn’t be pursuing him and would be sticking with Desmond Ridder.
Despite the mountain of backlash, the Falcons never wavered in their belief in the former third-round pick. That didn’t stop every pundit of the national media from bashing the Falcons’ complacency. Nobody asked Ridder how he felt about the entire situation… until now.
As players return to Flowery Branch, local media is getting their first taste of the 2023 squad, and someone asked the Falcons QB1 what he thought about all the doubters.
Desmond Ridder heard all the Atlanta QB trade talk this offseason and the accompanying insinuation that the Falcons needed a quarterback.
"Yeah, I have a TV in my house."
"Yeah, it puts a chip on my shoulder."
— Josh Kendall (@JoshTheAthletic) April 18, 2023
Desmond Ridder might not be the Falcons’ next franchise quarterback, but it won’t be for a lack of desire. The young man has been heralded for his work ethic and leadership qualities since Atlanta selected him in last year’s draft. He continues to display the intangibles that franchises covet in their signal callers.
A player’s want can take them a long way. Look no further than Tom Brady. The last pick of the 2000 NFL Draft never had the strongest arm, but he outworked everyone and constantly pitted himself against the world with some deranged sense that everyone wanted him to fail. Desmond Ridder doesn’t have to create that notion; there are a lot of people expecting him to fail.
The Falcons are going to get everything out of him, and I believe Ridder can be a more than serviceable quarterback in this league.
Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire
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