Raheem Morris on Falcons trading Desmond Ridder

NFL: OCT 15 Commanders at Falcons

One of the more intriguing moves of the Falcons offseason was their swift decision to move on from 2022 third-round pick Desmond Ridder by trading him to the Cardinals for Rondale Moore.

First and foremost, the fact the Falcons were able to get anything more than a bag of footballs for Ridder was surprising. Mac Jones has been to a Pro Bowl and Justin Fields finished ninth in the MVP race a couple of years ago, and they each were traded for a sixth-round pick. Rondale Moore may not be worth much more than that, but he is a former second-round selection who’s still only 23 years old. For a wide receiver room that desperately needed to add some speed and depth, Moore could turn out to be a tremendous addition for the Falcons.

But by moving off from Desmond Ridder, the Falcons made Taylor Heinicke‘s situation much less clear. Ridder, while not a starting caliber quarterback, showed he could be a capable backup that could lead a team to victory in a pinch. That’s about all Heinicke has been in his career, and he’s scheduled to make about nine times more than Ridder this upcoming season. Most expected the Falcons to hang onto Ridder and cut Heinicke for that very reason,

However, Raheem Morris said the trade came down to two things — a fresh start for Desmond Ridder and the speed Rondale Moore can add to the Falcons offense.

This was a rare trade for a couple of reasons. There aren’t many player for player trades in the NFL, and it could be one that works out for all parties.

Ridder has value as a backup quarterback and was in need of a fresh start. There was never going to be a situation next year where he had the backing of the city of Atlanta, which is important for a young quarterback. Similarly, Rondale Moore has not lived up to his second-round pick status, and the Cardinals were ready to move on. Arizona received a competent backup behind Kyler Murray, who recently missed an entire season with a torn ACL, and the Falcons add much-needed speed and versatility to their wide receiver room.

Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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