The Atlanta Falcons cut Marcus Mariota and signed Taylor Heinicke this off-season signaling the team was moving forward with Desmond Ridder as their 2023 starting quarterback. Mariota signed a one-year $5 million dollar deal with the Eagles to backup Jalen Hurts.
It is a solid move from Mariota's perspective in a very strong offense that is built around Jalen's ability as a runner. While Hurts is a far better passer than Mariota if forced into action Marcus can run the same system that is installed for Hurts.
Mariota's time as the Atlanta starter will be remembered with frustration for the consistently missed throws and turning the ball over at the absolute worst times. It was to the point it was noteworthy if Marcus made the simple throws accurately or didn't turn the ball over at least once a game.
While there is a small chance Mariota can rebuild his value with the Eagles barring an injury that gives a team no other choice Mariota's time as a starter in this league is over. Arthur Smith gave the quarterback every chance to work as a starter sticking with him to Atlanta's detriment.
If the team had swapped to Desmond Ridder earlier in the season we would have a much better idea of what Atlanta has at the quarterback position and perhaps the direction of the season would have been completely different.
Ridder didn't have the benefit of playing with Kyle Pitts and was forced into action at one of the worst points of the schedule on the road in New Orleans followed by a great Baltimore defense. If there is any criticism of Smith over the past two seasons it would be keeping Jalen Mayfield and Mariota in the lineup despite making it clear every player earns their starting role.
Mariota's deal can be up to $8 million with the Eagles with incentives and gives Philly a backup option that will push their season in the wrong direction if forced into action.