Cutting Marcus Mariota saved the Atlanta Falcons $12 million in cap space giving the team the ability to make another splashy move this off-season. It was clear Mariota’s time as a starter in Atlanta was done and considering his reaction to the benching bringing back the veteran as a backup was never an option either.
Mariota left the team after being benched citing a knee injury and ending the season at home stepping away from Atlanta. Mariota wanting to spend time with his family after a rough ending to a second chance is understandable.
However, it clearly impacted the way Atlanta felt about the veteran quarterback. Perhaps the former starter stepping away helped Desmond Ridder take over a leadership role but there is an argument to be made having the veteran on the sidelines would have been an asset.
Regardless of the right answer to the debate Marcus is now a free agent and facing tough questions about his future in this league. Finding another chance to start in this league is going to be tough for a quarterback unlikely to receive a third chance.