The Atlanta Falcons unfortunately saw backup quarterback A.J. McCarron exit during the second quarter of Saturday's 37-17 loss to the Miami Dolphins with a knee injury. While the extent of the injury is unknown for the time being, the fact that McCarron's injury required an MRI points to it being a significant one.
In the meantime, the Falcons can't afford to begin the season without a proven backup. While No. 1 QB Matt Ryan has only missed one game since 2010, that doesn't change the fact that he's 36 years old and there's no telling how his body will hold up as he gets older.
With that being said, here are three free-agent backup quarters backs that the Falcons need to sign after McCarron's injury.
Falcons QBs 2021
1. Robert Griffin III
Former 2012 second overall pick Robert Griffin III is one quarterback that the Falcons should target to be Ryan's backup this season. While he's far from the player he once was during his first two campaigns, Griffin is still a decent No. 2 QB on most rosters. He's spent the past three seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, appearing in 14 games (two starts) and recording 288 passing yards and one touchdown to 4 interceptions. Griffin boasts a lot more experience than other available options, and the chance to play again should be enough to steal him away from his current broadcasting gig. It's a low-risk chance for Atlanta, especially considering backups rarely see that much playing time behind Ryan.
2. Josh Rosen
Another available former first-round talent is Josh Rosen. The 24-year-old was waived by the San Francisco 49ers earlier this week and is now looking for a new home. The Falcons don't have a quarterback for the future on their roster, so they may as well take a flyer on Rosen. After all, there's nothing to lose on a one-year deal. At worst, he's on their roster as a backup for the season. However, if the Falcons like what they see in the young signal-caller, they could always bring him back for another year to learn from one of the better quarterbacks over the past decade.
3. Blake Bortles
Former Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles was once seen as someone with a lot of potential, especially after recording 4,428 passing yards and 35 touchdowns (to 18 interceptions) in the 2015 NFL season. However, Bortles now finds himself without a job and hasn't appeared in regular season game since the 2019 campaign. Nevertheless, he still would be an adequate backup in Atlanta. Even in his last season as a starter three years ago, Bortles completed 60.3% of his passes and finished the 2018 season with a 79.8 quarterback rating. Are those the best stats? No, but they're a lot better than what some backups around the league have put up.
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