Falcons: Taylor Heinicke pay cut officially announced

NFL: OCT 29 Falcons at Titans

As I discussed last week, it seemed Falcons backup quarterback Taylor Heinicke took a pay cut to stay with the team after Over The Cap lowered his cap number for the 2024 season. Now, that has officially been confirmed. He will make $4.53 million in 2024, compared to the $9 million he was scheduled to make prior to restructuring his deal.

$4.5 million is a much more palatable figure for Taylor Heinicke and makes the Desmond Ridder trade look a lot better. Last season, there wasn’t much of a difference between the two quarterbacks. One could even argue Ridder was better than Heinicke, which is why most expected the Falcons to keep him, given he was scheduled to make around $1 million in 2024, about nine times less than Heinicke.

However, with Heinicke agreeing to cut his salary in half, everything becomes a lot more clear. The Falcons may have preferred having a veteran option behind Kirk Cousins, who is coming off an Achilles injury. They were also able to acquire some more speed in the Desmond Ridder trade, bringing in wide receiver Rondale Moore.

The move leaves the Falcons without about $6 million in cap space heading into the draft. With many holes left to fill, that’s not a lot of room to maneuver, but the Falcons can still clear up tons of money with other cuts or by restructuring the contracts of some of their star players. I highly doubt Terry Fontenot is done making moves before the draft at the end of the month.

Photographer: Bryan Lynn/Icon Sportswire

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