What is the Falcons biggest offseason priority?

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The Falcons are approaching a potentially pivotal offseason. The new regime has operated in free agency with one arm tied behind its back because of the salary cap mess inherited from the former regime. Now, Atlanta will have the second-most cap space entering the offseason with another top 10 draft pick. The club is in a prime position to take the most considerable step of the rebuild in the Terry Fontenot, Arthur Smith era; however, it’ll never be complete until they figure out the quarterback position.

There are more holes on the roster than there are available solutions. There isn’t a single unit on the team that doesn’t need addressing, whether it be top-end talent or depth pieces. But quarterback will always dominate conversations.

The Falcons will roll into the 2023 season with more than Desmond Ridder on the roster; that’s guaranteed. Still, it’s not clear how they’ll address the position. Various veterans are available on the free agent market, as well as a couple via trade. There are also several intriguing prospects entering the 2023 NFL Draft.

The Falcons have Ridder and Marcus Mariota under contract for next season, but I firmly believe the veteran will be a cap casualty this offseason. Atlanta can save $12 million with a minimal $2.5 million dead cap figure. The Falcons will need at least one proven backup, and if the regime doesn’t believe Ridder is the answer, they’ll find a quarterback with developmental upside.

It’s the most important position in sports and will be the biggest offseason priority until it’s figured out. So it’s no surprise ESPN named it the most important thing this offseason:

Biggest offseason priority: The Falcons have to decide on the quarterback position. They got a four-game sample of rookie Desmond Ridder, but was it enough? If they don’t think so, the Falcons need to find a higher-end veteran who makes sense with their roster or use a first-round pick on a QB. But if they feel good about Ridder’s outlook, then they can focus on other areas in the offseason and find a capable backup to compete with Ridder. Ridder completed 63.5% of his passes, but his yards per attempt is 6.2 (would be outside the NFL’s top 30 if it qualified).

I loved what I saw from Desmond Ridder and genuinely believe he possesses the skill set to become a reliable starter in this league. However, to make sweeping judgments this early would be irresponsible. His four-game audition wasn’t enough to cement his place for the starting job in 2023, but the poise and growth he showed each week was exciting. I would support the Falcons rolling with Ridder for the 2023 campaign.

Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire

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