Falcons: Taylor Heinicke’s contract details revealed

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The Falcons brought in some free agent competition for Desmond Ridder in the form of Taylor Heinicke. It was first reported that the deal could be worth up to $20 million for two years, which would make him the highest-paid backup as it stands today. The details of the contract have been released, and it’s much more palatable than initially thought.

Essentially, the deal is for one year and worth $7 million with a cap hit of $5 million. His cap hit would be $9 million if he’s not released, but Atlanta can save $7 million against the cap if they release him before his 2024 roster bonus.

The incentives are what make this deal worthwhile for Heinicke. An extra $3 million each year if he reaches certain playtime thresholds. The Falcons are acquiring a high-level backup and are paying him like one, not a low-end starter, which is what Marcus Mariota‘s contract was like in 2022.

The Falcons are seemingly giving Desmond Ridder an excellent opportunity to win the starting gig, but Taylor Heinicke isn’t going to just roll over. He’s 29 years old and should be financially motivated to win the starting job.

It’ll be an interesting position battle to watch; I would expect Ridder to be under center in Week 1. Nothing is written in stone, though.

Photographer: Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire
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