Falcons receive high marks for Desmond Ridder trade

NFL: OCT 15 Commanders at Falcons

The Falcons have been among the busiest teams this offseason. Most of their work has come in free agency, landing the big fish in Kirk Cousins and signing Darnell Mooney along with a number of depth pieces. However, perhaps the most intriguing move was their decision to move off Desmond Ridder in a trade with the Arizona Cardinals.

First and foremost, the fact the Falcons were able to get much of anything for Desmond Ridder was a bit surprising, let alone a former second round pick that is still 23-years-old and adds some much-needed speed to the Falcons offense. One could argue Ridder fetched more than Justin Fields and Mac Jones. I’m not sure many people had that on their bingo card heading into the offseason.

But while Desmond Ridder doesn’t provide much as a starting quarterback, he’s a more than capable backup on a cheap contract, which is why I expected the Falcons to keep him and cut Taylor Heinicke to save a chunk of change against the cap. The Cardinals clearly saw the value in that behind Kyler Murray, and Jeff Howe of The Athletic believes it was a win-win for both sides, providing each player with a fresh start. 

Trade grade (Falcons): B-plus

Ridder was no longer in the Falcons’ plans, so they did well to get a receiver with some versatility to his game. Moore has 52 career carries for 249 yards and one touchdown, so there could be some creative opportunities for offensive coordinator Zac Robinson to get him involved.

Moore hasn’t necessarily lived up to his second-round draft status, but he still has talent. It’s also worth noting Falcons coach Raheem Morris and Robinson just got a good look at Moore in the NFC West. There’s an element of familiarity.

Even if Moore is only sporadically used, he boosts the depth chart and gives the Falcons some veteran experience heading into a season with their highest expectations in years.

I don’t know how anyone could look at this trade as anything but a net positive for the Falcons. Ridder desperately needed a change of scenery; he was never going to be appreciated in Atlanta. Plus, if the Falcons ended up having to rely on him to win anything more than a game or two, their season likely already would have been sunk.

Rondale Moore is a YAC specialist that can also be used in the run game. Howe brings up a good point as well in regards to the familiarity Morris and offensive coordinator Zac Robinson have with Moore, as they competed against him twice a year in the NFC West. They clearly see a role for him in this Falcons offense, and getting anything of value for Desmond Ridder is a win.

Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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