4 Atlanta Falcons that could be playing their final games with the franchise

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2. Taylor Heinicke

Considering Taylor's season it makes sense at first glance to keep the veteran as the backup option next season. Heinicke has a far more impressive resume than Ridder and is likely going to finish the year as the starter. Keeping Heinicke makes the Falcons a better football team in the short term. However, cutting Taylor saves $7 million while Desmond Ridder is still on his rookie contract as a third-rounder. Keeping Desmond Ridder and saving the money makes the most sense for the Falcons.

The only way that this changes is if Heinicke is willing to change his deal and the Falcons really want to part ways with Desmond Ridder. Ridder was sold as the quarterback of the future and has been far worse than was imagined. If Smith and Fontenot are both retained it could be they are willing to sacrifice a bit of cap to put Desmond in the rearview and have a veteran quarterback they believe they can rely on.

The door isn't fully shut for Heinicke returning but it is most likely that the Falcons cut the veteran and opt to move forward with Ridder as a cheap backup.