Falcons veteran who needs a change of scenery this offseason

NFL: AUG 24 Preseason Steelers at Falcons

The Falcons are already making roster decisions with the club’s brass at the NFL Combine.

While Terry Fontenot and Raheem Morris fraternize with the media and other organizations’ leadership, they’re simultaneously preparing to scout the 2024 draft class and assessing their own roster.

The Falcons have already cut ties with one significant piece, cutting Jonnu Smith earlier in the week. It saved the team $6.5 million against the cap this year, and it was a move that wasn’t shocking.

Zac Robinson is expected to run some variation of Sean McVay’s offense, which features more 11 personnel (one running back, one tight end, and three receivers) than maybe any other offense in football. With Kyle Pitts under contract, a $9 million TE isn’t a wise allocation of resources.

In that same breath, Taylor Heinicke should be considered a potential cap casualty as well. The veteran is under contract for around $9 million, but with the Falcons expected to bring in at least one quarterback, Heinicke is expendable with Desmond Ridder on the roster.

The move would save the Falcons over $7 million against the cap, and the veteran was the player who needs a change of scenery this offseason in ESPN’s Michael Rothstein’s estimation.

Atlanta appears committed to finding a new starting quarterback. If the Falcons view Desmond Ridder as a No. 2 or No. 3, they would move on from Heinicke, which would save $7 million against the cap in 2024. Heinicke completed 54.4% of his passes last season — by far the lowest rate of his career. While the coaching staff is new, it seems like a split might make sense for both sides unless the Falcons choose to move on from Ridder and keep Heinicke as a more expensive backup option. — Michael Rothstein

It almost feels like a foregone conclusion the Falcons eventually part ways with Heinicke. It might not be as soon as Jonnu Smith was released. Raheem Morris and Terry Fontenot may let the offseason play out, but eventually, they’ll move on from Taylor Heinicke.

Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire


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