4. Marcus Mariota, QB, Atlanta Falcons
Shocked? Yeah didn’t think so. It is an inevitability that the Atlanta Falcons will cut Marcus Mariota. Following his benching and “time away” from the team, it seemed like Arthur Smith was not too happy with the quarterback he spent most of the season defending.
Even without the assumed feud between the team and the player, Mariota did not play anywhere close to the level that would warrant a $14 million cap hit and $9 million salary in 2023. The Falcons, wisely, designed the contract in a way where they could move on from him with just a $2.5 million dead cap hit.
Again, he didn’t do himself any favors by stepping away following the news that he would be riding the bench. He hung his teammates out to dry, especially Desmond Ridder. Arthur Smith doesn’t seem like the type to put up with that.
In other words, Marcus Mariota should be looking into what teams—if any—would be willing to sign him for next season.