There is going to be a lot of talk surrounding the Atlanta Falcons’ situation at quarterback in the coming months. We do not know if the team is fully committed to Desmond Ridder for the 2023 season, and if they aren’t, then there should be some elite options available like Lamar Jackson, Geno Smith, and maybe even Aaron Rodgers.
Following the Packers’ loss to the Lions that kept them out of the playoffs, it sure looked like their quarterback had played his last game for them and he has only exacerbated that with his recent comments.
Aaron Rodgers hints he could play elsewhere and the Falcons should be all over
Aaron Rodgers appeared on the Pat McAfee Show (who would have ever guessed) and had some interesting things to say, like potentially returning for another season with another team. If that ends up being the situation, then the Falcons should be the first team to pursue him.
He mentioned on the Pat McAfee Show how he will only return to the Packers if they fully commit to being all-in for the 2023 season and agree to bring back five of their offensive free agents. That sounds like quite the ultimatum.
The Packers have Jordan Love who will be entering the fourth year on his rookie deal. They will need to make a decision on his fifth-year option this off-season. They may also be willing to move on from Rodgers so that they can see whether or not Love is worth signing to a long-term deal.
This is where the Falcons should step in, they could take a similar approach as Green Bay has at the quarterback position.
They have Desmond Ridder who showed significant improvement in each of the four games he started to end the season. Bringing Rodgers in would mean putting Ridder on the back burner, which is totally okay. They can play the long game with their young gun and bring in Rodgers to establish some immediate success. Not to mention, he would attract free agents to the ATL.
Aaron is signed with the Packers through the 2026 season, so bringing him in would mean pulling off a trade and being willing to inherit a large contract. His cap hits are quite massive but there is a potential ‘out’ in his contract after the 2023 season that would result in a more manageable $24 million dead cap hit, comparatively.
It may not seem like something Terry Fontenot would agree to, but how can you deny bringing in a quarterback like Aaron Rodgers? He may not be a running quarterback per se, but he has the athleticism—even this late in his career—to be able to run Arthur Smith’s offense at a high level.
It would be a great way to have immediate success and provide Ridder with a mentor (as Rodgers has been with Jordan Love) who probably won’t quit on the team like another QB who we will not name.
One issue is that he made it clear that he would only return to the NFL if he thinks he can win the Super Bowl, would the Falcons be able to convince him that they could be a contender?