Former Atlanta Falcons starting quarterback finds new landing spot

Philadelphia Eagles v New York Giants
Philadelphia Eagles v New York Giants / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

Marcus Mariota was the Atlanta Falcons starter for the majority of the 2022 season before being benched for Desmond Ridder. Both quarterbacks have left Atlanta since that time finding new landing spots in the NFC.

Desmond Ridder was traded to the Cardinals for Rondale Moore while Mariota hit free agency after spending a season as Jalen Hurts backup. Mariota rarely saw the field in the 2023 season only filling in relief for an injured Hurts.

Marcus hit free agency and stayed in the NFC East signing with the Washington Commanders. Despite trading Sam Howell it has been made clear that Mariota is being brought in as the backup plan. Washington has been in quarterback purgatory since Kirk Cousins left to join Minnesota and isn't fooling themselves into believing Mariota is a starter.

For Marcus, this is a solid fit that allows him to remain on the East Coast and play on a team not facing high expectations. Mariota joins draft mate Jameis Winston in finding new landing spots highlighting how neither player has lived up to expectations.

The Falcons are happy to continue to turn the page on Mariota and Ridder as they finally have a capable franchise quarterback. Matt Ryan's career had spoiled Atlanta Falcons fans with the past two years offering a glimpse at just how lucky they had been.

Desmond Ridder will be taking a reserve role in Arizona with the team tied to Kyler Murray due to his contract. It isn't out of the question that Ridder finds his way into a starting role yet again based on Kyler's injury history.

Mariota's time in Atlanta will continue to be defined by "what ifs" and frustrations of a team that for two straight years felt so close but couldn't find a way to win the games that mattered.