Fans will laugh at CBS Sports’ pick for Falcons most notable offseason departure

NFL: OCT 15 Commanders at Falcons

The Falcons’ offseason revolved around the search for a new head coach and quarterback.

Arthur Smith was fired, and Arthur Blank’s quest for a successor began immediately, but it never really mattered who they brought in unless they upgraded the signal caller position.

Eventually, Raheem Morris won the job, which was followed by questions about Terry Fontenot and his intentions at quarterback. Desmond Ridder was clearly not the answer. I’ve been outspoken about my belief that his play was the single biggest factor in Atlanta’s shortcomings last year.

It was obvious the Falcons had to do something about it, and they did, completely overhauling the position. First, they inked Kirk Cousins to a $180 million deal at the opening bell of free agency, but they weren’t done. They then drafted Michael Penix Jr. with the 8th overall pick, potentially giving Atlanta stable quarterback play for the next decade-plus.

It rendered Desmond Ridder expendable, and the Falcons ended up trading him for Rondale Moore in a rare player-for-player deal. His departure is the most notable of Atlanta’s offseason, according to Tyler Sullivan of CBS Sports.

The Falcons completely overhauled their offense this offseason with the main piece being the arrival of veteran Kirk Cousins via free agency. With Cousins in as the starter, Ridder’s future with the team was nonexistent, and was traded to the Cardinals in mid-March in exchange for Rondale Moore. In his two seasons with the team, Ridder was 8-9 as the starter. He’ll now serve as Kyler Murray’s backup, while Atlanta moves forward with Cousins and first-round pick Michael Penix.

Now, addition by subtraction applies here, and Sullivan did note that “Departures can be just as impactful to a team if not more in some cases.” Ridder didn’t have to depart for it to be impactful, just not playing would’ve been great for the Falcons.

I could argue that Calais Campbell’s or Ryan Nielsen’s departure will prove more impactful than Ridder’s. Firstly, Campbell led the team with 6.5 sacks but also played a pivotal role in defending the run. Moreover, Nielsen doesn’t get enough credit for the job he did last year.

Ridder just not playing is a big deal, but I do think there’s a case for Ryan Nielsen being the most notable offseason departure.

Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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