Falcons veteran named top post-June 1 cut, trade candidate

NFL: AUG 24 Preseason Steelers at Falcons

For the first time in my lifetime, the Falcons have a surplus of quality quarterbacks on the roster.

With Michael Vick and Matt Ryan stabilizing the position for two decades, there’s actually been very little poor quarterback play in recent history. It’s just been the past couple of seasons the position has been pitiful.

However, it was a long enough (and bad enough) stretch that Atlanta overhauled the position completely. The Falcons invested more money than maybe any club ever has in what is a high-end bridge signal caller in Kirk Cousins, giving the veteran $180 million over four years.

In his mid-thirties, Cousins isn’t the long-term answer, so the Falcons doubled down, selecting Michael Penix Jr. with their top pick. If everything works out, Atlanta will have high-level quarterback play for the next decade-plus, but they aren’t the only ones in the quarterback room.

I said surplus, and I mean surplus. Taylor Heinicke is still under contract, and the veteran is expendable, which is why he was named among the NFL’s post-June 1 cut and trade candidates by CBS Sports.

“The former Washington Commanders starter took a pay cut to remain as Kirk Cousins‘ backup in Atlanta, but that was before the Falcons turned around and used a top-10 pick on Michael Penix Jr., crowding the quarterback room for the short and long term. Cutting him would save Atlanta $1.2 million,” Cody Benjamin said.

$1.2 million in savings isn’t a needle mover, and the figure dropped after Heinicke agreed to take a pay cut earlier in the season. Cutting him for a little over $1 million doesn’t seem smart; however, if a team has a need for a high-quality backup at a team-friendly price, the Falcons could dangle him on the trade market for a mid-to-late round pick.

Regardless of how it happens, I don’t see Taylor Heinicke being on the Falcons final 53-man roster.

Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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