Taylor Heinicke helps the Falcons create cap space

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When the Falcons traded Desmond Ridder to the Arizona Cardinals for Rondale Moore, it signaled Taylor Heinicke would be the team’s backup for 2024, which was a bit unexpected.

Not because Desmond Ridder was head and shoulders better than Taylor Heinicke; they performed comparably when given the starting opportunity last season. However, Ridder was only going to cost the team about $1 million against the cap, while Heinicke was scheduled to cost the Falcons $9 million. One could also argue Ridder’s ceiling is much higher, given he has only been in the league for a couple of years, compared to Heinicke, who is on the wrong side of 30.

However, recent news has brought some light to the situation. Though it’s yet to be announced, Over The Cap has updated Taylor Heinicke’s cap number to $4.5 million. That’s a much more palatable number for a backup quarterback. The move frees up about $4.5 million in cap space, giving the Falcons just over $6 million in cap space for any additional moves. 

$6 million is still not much, considering the Falcons have to sign their rookie class and probably want to keep some in an emergency fund in case an opportunity arises during the season. However, Terry Fontenot remains capable of making just about any move he could imagine, whether it be a trade or a free agent acquisition.

There remain some potential cut candidates on the roster, and the Falcons have yet to restructure any contracts this offseason. With a few simple moves, the Falcons could open up to $40 million in cap space. However, they will only make those moves if they need the money to make another acquisition.

Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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