Marcus Mariota is set to start the season for the Atlanta Falcons with promising rookie Desmond Ridder backing him up. Both quarterbacks have looked great throughout camp and the preseason and appear better suited to running Arthur Smith’s offense. Given Arthur Smith’s history with Mariota, it is safe to believe he will have to truly struggle to be replaced. A bad moment or two won’t be enough for Atlanta to turn to Ridder Mariota is going to have to prove he isn’t capable of being a productive starting quarterback.
Even if Mariota gets off to a great start, however, it would be surprising if Atlanta doesn’t give Ridder a game or two this season. Mariota is the short-term answer for the Falcons but to truly take a step back towards serious contention the team needs a franchise quarterback.
In very limited opportunities Ridder has looked great thus far and has given every reason to believe he is capable of being a long-term answer. However, it is also fair to assume that the Falcons will be keeping a close eye on the quarterback market.
Even if they still believe in Ridder it couldn’t hurt to bring in competition through the draft of free agency. If a proven former MVP becomes available the Falcons should obviously have a level of interest.