The Atlanta Falcons have put themselves into a fresh position at quarterback.
Last week, they announced they would be rolling out rookie Desmond Ridder for their remaining games this season, effectively benching quarterback Marcus Mariota.
This came directly before the news that Mariota was injured, and would likely miss the remainder of the 2022 NFL campaign.
It also appears that the Falcons may have an opportunity to have a financial burden lifted off of their shoulders as well.
The Falcons have a projected $72M in cap space next year before any cuts.
Marcus Mariota would save 12.5M if he’s cut.
That would put the team at nearly $85M under the cap.
— Scott Carasik (@CarasikS) December 13, 2022
By saving over $12 million by cutting Mariota, it seems like a foregone conclusion that they will make that decision.
The Falcons will also be able to see what they have in Ridder, who will start in their final four games.
Ridder certainly will have his work cut out for him in these four games, with the Falcons scheduled to play the New Orleans Saints, Baltimore Ravens, Arizona Cardinals, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
If the Falcons like what they see, they will likely roll out Ridder as their starter in 2023.
However, if they want to look elsewhere, assuming they cut Mariota, they will have over $80 million to play with in the offseason.
Who Is Desmond Ridder?
Ridder was a four-year starter at the University of Cincinnati, and threw for a total of 10,239 yards, completed 62.1% of his passes, and threw 87 touchdowns and only 28 interceptions.
With a collegiate record of 42-6, Ridder is a proven winner.
Will he be able to continue his collegiate success in the NFL?
Tune in on Sunday, to see Ridder make his NFL debut.