The Falcons will be in the market for a quarterback this offseason, or at least they should be.
Regardless of what Desmond Ridder does over the final seven games, Atlanta cannot go into the 2024 campaign complacent at the position. Whether it’s via trade, the draft, or free agency, the Falcons have to be in the market to bring in a better player because the bones are in place for a quality signal caller to come in and immediately take this roster to the postseason.
There are many avenues the club can take. Free agency is the most straightforward, and there are a couple of possibilities. Kirk Cousins is probably the best option that will be available this offseason, but names like Baker Mayfield and Ryan Tannehill will also be floated. For me, Mayfield and Tannehill are certainly upgrades over what the Falcons currently have but aren’t of the caliber of Cousins.
The trade market is also another avenue. Kyler Murray and Justin Fields are two names that come to mind. Each would become available only if their respective teams decided they’d be better off with one of Drake Maye or Caleb Williams over their current situation. That could benefit a team like the Falcons who might not be in a position to land one of the draft prospects.
On the flip side of things, if one of the top teams isn’t interested in Maye or Williams, it could still benefit the Falcons. If the Cardinals or Bears prefer to build around the current signal caller, it could be an opportunity for Atlanta to move up and land their franchise quarterback.
The Patriots, Bears, Cardinals, and Giants seem to be in the running for one of the first two overall picks. Chicago and Arizona could go either way, while it seems certain New England will move on from Mac Jones. New York is in a precarious spot.
What makes things complicated is the financial commitment to Daniel Jones, who is owed $35.5 million guaranteed next season. Plus, $23 million of Jones’ $30 million salary in 2025 is guaranteed for injury. Coming off a torn ACL, Jones will have limited trade value, but I’d still expect the Giants to take one of Williams or Maye.
One thing is clear: Daniel Jones will be back next season according to Jordan Shultz, which makes the possibility of maximizing a rookie quarterback’s contract nearly impossible. Jones’s deal was a mistake when New York handed it to him, and it will continue to be.
I would take one of the generational quarterbacks in the draft, but then again, I wouldn’t have given Jones the contract extension in the first place, so there’s no telling what Giants’ plans are. If they decide to build around Jones, it will be an opportunity for the Falcons to mortgage their future for one of Drake Maye or Caleb Williams.
Regardless of who it is, Terry Fontenot should be on the phone with one of the GMs from the Giants, Cardinals, or Bears talking about trading for their current quarterback (other than Daniel Jones) or their draft pick.
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