Desmond Ridder will be under center for the Falcons going forward, especially considering news that quarterback Marcus Mariota was eyeing a potential IR trip. However, there’s more to Mariota’s rapidly declining role in Atlanta.
[RELATED: Falcons Expected To Place Marcus Mariota On IR]
Coach Arthur Smith revealed today that Mariota has left the team to have his “chronic” knee issue evaluated, per Josh Kendall of The Athletic. It’s uncertain when or if the veteran QB will return to the Falcons. Kendall writes that Mariota was notified of his benching on Thursday, and the Falcons learned that the QB would be stepping away on Friday.
“[The knee] is nothing that has been an issue this season, but that’s [Mariota’s] prerogative so … ” Smith said (via Kendall). “Of course, you want all your guys to be here, but guys have to make decisions. It’s part of professional sports. You have to have contingency plans.”
As Kendall notes, this isn’t the first time that Smith has played a role in Mariota’s benching. When Smith was the offensive coordinator with the Titans, Mariota was demoted to backup. Atlanta inked the 29-year-old to a two-year, $18.75MM deal this past offseason. If he’s cut following the season, the organization could save around $12MM against the cap.
Mariota has gone 5-8 in his 13 starts this season, completing 61.3 percent of his passes for 2,219 yards, 15 touchdowns, and nine interceptions. He’s also added 438 yards and four scores on the ground. The decision to pivot to Ridder was “performance-based,” according to Smith, and the head coach also seemed to hint that it was always the team’s intention to eventually turn to the rookie third-round pick.
“We’ve talked about trying to get over the hump in some of these close games and where we’re trying to push the offense,” Smith said. “We feel like it’s the best decision where [Ridder] is at and where the team’s at. I wouldn’t have made this decision if I didn’t think it was in the best interest of this team, not only short term but probably long term as well.”
The team started preparing for Mariota’s absence earlier this week when they signed QB Logan Woodside off the Titans practice squad.
34 comments on “Falcons QB Marcus Mariota Leaves Team”
Good! Go cry somewhere else, you suck.
Backup QB is a pretty sweet job too. If you’re a good teammate with football knowledge to offer, you can make a nice career and chunk of money out of it even if your ability is mediocre by starting QB standards, but no team wants a sulking backup with a toxic ego.
I know these guys are competitive and want more, but why throw it all away completely by acting like a fool?
Mariota backed up Carr and there was never an issue. My guess is he believes he’s better than Ridder right now, and I’m not sure he’s wrong. So from that aspect, I can understand his decision. I get it from the Falcons side, too. Still, Marcus is doing what is best for him and it’s tough to fault him for that because there won’t be the same questions and/or venom towards Atlanta when they cut him. Be fully healthy for that next stop.
Is it best for him if it tarnishes his reputation?
He could have been fully healthy next season just as easily and stayed with his team.
This sounds more like Mariota just acting like a big manchild, and telling Atlanta, “Ok then, if I’m not the starter anymore, well then, good luck I’m out.”
His only value moving forward is as an experienced backup who can be a great teammate and help those around him, especially if it’s a younger QB.
His actions are going to cost him some interest from a few teams. I could easily see a few backup QB needy teams just pivoting elsewhere, because they don’t want a backup QB who won’t put the team first, nor one they feel they cannot trust.
Honestly, this issue will probably be one of the first things any interested teams ask him about during his upcoming free agency. How he is able to answer that question very well could possibly make or break a potential deal.
No one likes a perceived quitter, and no one cares for someone that’s selfish in a team game, especially from such a role as backup QB.
It’s really not what’s best for him, is role in the future is temp starter or backup. If teams think he is going to leave when replaced, he has hurt his value.
At first I thought he did it this way to allow Atlanta to get a roster spot, but IR and seeing the coaches response, it obviously wasn’t team first decision. perhaps there are specific performance incentives that his agent said to go this route opposed to suiting up as backup and risk injury.
That’s a bit…harsh.
I thought he left years ago In Tennessee
Not gonna lie, that was funny.
Still better than Carr. More playoff wins. No need to argue. I see a different Carr than delusional Carr lovers.
You sound stupid Carr way better and I’m not even a raider fan
Someone having an opinion that differs from yours makes lthem stupid.l? Man. I guess ill join that club.
You are ready a life time member troll.
Carr is a good QB. It’s tough to get playoff wins when the team is constantly in a state of coaching changes, rebuilds, retooling… whatever they want to call it. They once again have a coach at the helm that clearly doesn’t know what he is doing, but they’re too broke to fire him.
But sure, yeah, I guess it’s Carr’s fault. So many QBs would excel in that environment, right?
I know. I am a chiefs fan living in Raider nation. I have heard every excuse in the book. Other quarterbacks are coming into the league on bad teams and going to playoffs within 2-3 years in league. Are you saying on a team with adams and jacobs and waller on offense, Raiders would not have more wins with Mahomes, Allen. Hurts. Hard to argue that. But i invite all the hate. I been hearing Raider fans nonsense since the 80s. I love it.
How many games has Waller played this year?
Carr is on a team with Adams and Jacobs, and this season that’s basically it. They might have 1 more win with one of the QBs you mentioned, but lets not pretend they’d be 10-3. Hard to argue that.
As a Chiefs fan, I’d think you’d also recognize the difference in coaching ability between Andy Reid and Hoodie Jr
Good username bad take
36 year old Chase Daniel, a career backup QB, has started five games in his NFL career. His lifetime earnings so far total $41 million, which equates to $8.2 million per start.
Not a bad gig to be a clipboard-holding backup.
If your goal in life is too make lots of money doing nothing you get yourself on a Congressional Oversight Committee.
Falcons fans loved Ryan last year with a similar record and numbers but hate Mariotta. He was what was expected. The o line still sucks.
Wrong. The offensive line is much better this season. And they need to play Ridder to see what they have. Mariota needs to grow up.
McGary is a turnstile at tight tackle and they’ve played multiple guys at G and C all year. That is an absolutely awful unit. Improved from god awful is still terrible. Maybe if Mariota had a pocket to work from occasionally instead of throwing every pass on the run his numbers would be better.
The Falcons are a team that is still rebuilding. Anyone who expected more than about 5 or 6 wins this year was delusional.
What a giant baby.
Honest question – Mariota left to be with his wife for the birth of their child, no? I get some fans will say that’s not a good enough excuse, which is – what it is, I guess – but why isn’t that noted in this story, or by the team? Is it not true? If it is, this seems like a hatchet job on a guy who may be best suited as an NFL backup, but whose character has never before been questioned like this.
“Left to be with his wife and the birth of their child”. Sounds like a lie to save face
Seems like a pretty easy one to prove or disprove.
Probably not what you go with as a casual lie.
It says pretty clearly in the article that Mariota left to have his knee evaluated. I’m not sure where all of these other theories are coming from.
Exactly. This is an attempt at an inferior writer trying to make a headline for himself out of nothing. It was later revealed that they were going to put him on IR anyway and he left to be with his wife who was about to deliver their first child. Complete crap.
The timing ain’t all that great — Atlanta is a game out of first in the craptastic NFC South. At least Mariota let the Falcons know now so they could plan for their stretch run which includes games with Baltimore and Tampa Bay.
Mariota has always been a class act in his career and is well respected. Get all the details first making it sound like he just “walked out” on the team doesnt vibe with whos hes been since day 1 in the league.
He literally just had a baby tho..