Justin Fields’ contract “complicates” potential Falcons trade

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The quarterback carousel is turning, and the Falcons are hoping to land one of the top available signal callers.

That could be one of Drake Maye, Jayden Daniels, or J.J. McCarthy in the draft, Justin Fields via trade, or one of the free agents in Kirk Cousins or Baker Mayfield.

Over the weekend, Dan Graziano of ESPN reported that the Falcons have Cousins, not Fields, as the top quarterback solution.

“Should that happen, I expect the Falcons to make a strong pursuit. I have been told by multiple sources this week that signing Cousins — not trading for Justin Fields — is the Falcons’ top QB solution, assuming Cousins makes it to free agency,” Graziano said.

One of the reasons for that could be Fields’ fit in Zac Robinson’s system, but another obstacle could be the Georgia native’s contract situation, as Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated points out.

“Fields’s contract certainly complicates the matter. A trading team would get him for $2.3 million this year, but would have to make a decision in May on his $25.7 million option for 2025, knowing declining it and getting a good year from Fields would make him more expensive to keep in a year. And as for potential teams, Atlanta and Pittsburgh have at least explored it.”

Without any data on Justin Fields in Atlanta, the Falcons would have to make a decision on his fifth-year option. It’s a gamble, either way.

If Terry Fontenot and Raheem Morris don’t exercise the option and Fields balls out, his price will skyrocket with his looming free agency. On the other hand, if the Falcons pick it up and the experiment fails, the club will be on the hook for $25.7 million in 2025.

It’s not a simple decision.

Photographer: William Purnell/Icon Sportswire

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