3 Reasons the Atlanta Falcons had no choice but to trade Desmond Ridder

Atlanta Falcons v New Orleans Saints
Atlanta Falcons v New Orleans Saints / Chris Graythen/GettyImages
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1. Desmond Ridder's leadership would have been a distraction

Yes, perhaps this is a bit tongue in cheek but when every Atlanta Falcons player and coach last season talked about Ridder leadership seemed to be the first word out of their mouth. Now one could argue with hindsight that this was because they knew Ridder wasn't a star on the field. For this exercise though let's take them at their word and assume Ridder was a great leader on and off the field.

He carried himself as one both interacting with fans and with the media. It was only his on-the-field performance you could criticize.

Atlanta opted to sign Kirk Cousins and bring in one of the better leaders at the position. Cousins is known for being loved in the locker room and the strong leadership that he brings. Even with Kirk being so far above Desmond in talent you can't have both of them on the roster.

It is difficult for Ridder to watch someone else take over and it could make things harder for Kirk. In levels of performance, the two players aren't close but it still makes things a bit less murky to part ways with Ridder and fully embrace Kirk Cousins.