Falcons Solidify Quarterback Room With Veteran Signing

Tyler Maher
The Atlanta Falcons added a much-needed veteran to their quarterback room.
The Atlanta Falcons added a much-needed veteran to their quarterback room. / ASSOCIATED PRESS

After not getting great results from Marcus Mariota under center last year, the Atlanta Falcons are going in a different direction at quarterback. Desmond Ridder is expected to take over as the starter after starting four games as a rookie last year, and Atlanta has a new backup as well after landing one in free agency on Tuesday.

Taylor Heinicke Falcons

The Falcons signed former Washington Commanders QB Taylor Heinicke to a two-year, $20 million contract on Tuesday. Heinicke is expected to back up Ridder to begin the year but has ample starting experience if Ridder doesn't prove up to the task.

Heinicke emerged as a solid signal-caller over the past two seasons with Washington, going 12-11-1 as a starter with a 64.0% completion rate and a 32:21 TD/INT ratio. He even started a playoff game as well against Tom Brady, so he's truly capable of handling any situation.

That makes him a great backup plan if Ridder doesn't progress as hoped. They're also similar players with good mobility for a quarterback, making Heinicke a natural replacement for Ridder in the offense if needed.

Time will tell if Ridder can keep the starting job or if Heinicke will need to take over at some point, but either way Atlanta now has one of the best backup QBs in the league.

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