The Atlanta Falcons appear to be headed into the pre-season with Marcus Mariota locked in as their starter. Rookie Desmond Ridder will compete with Mariota and attempt to show he is capable of being a franchise quarterback.
With an unproven Ridder and an injury-prone Mariota, however, it is fair to wonder if the Falcons should add a bit more depth at the position? Early indications in camp seem to suggest Feleipe Franks will attempt to switch positions and make an impact on the team as a utility player.
If Atlanta doesn’t view Franks as a viable candidate to take snaps in pre-season the team will almost certainly add a third quarterback. One intriguing possibility is free-agent quarterback Cam Newton. Newton is a player who could win a spot on Atlanta’s roster alongside Ridder and Mariota. Regardless of who wins the starting job Newton could run certain packages and give Arthur Smith a player he could work into the offense in different roles while adding much-needed depth at quarterback.
A.J. McCarron and Josh Rosen are two more familiar names Atlanta could bring in as depth. The problem with bringing Rosen back is the fact he would simply be a placeholder having zero shot of making the final roster.
Atlanta would be better served to bring in Newton or acquire another veteran quarterback who can be a resource for the team and give depth if Mariota is injured.
While Baker Mayfield and Jimmy Garoppolo remain on the market Atlanta should have zero interest in either starter. Neither are clear enough upgrades over Mariota to spend resources on. Atlanta needs to make a no-risk move in free agency at the position.
Mariota will have to lose the job in pre-season for anyone else to have a chance it appears. Desmond Ridder will likely start at some point during the season leaving the third quarterback role as merely a depth piece or in the case of Cam a potential utility player.
Having watched Rosen and Franks last season in limited relief Atlanta knew they needed to improve their depth and they have done that by adding Ridder and Mariota. However, fans shouldn’t be at all surprised to see at least one quarterback brought in before the pre-season kicks off.