Taylor Heinicke is penciled in as the starting quarterback of the Atlanta Falcons right now but it is clear that he is not the long-term answer.
Heinicke is the starter after we heard all offseason how they were sticking with Ridder. To be frank, it is a disaster right now but this was a situation that was always going to be difficult to avoid.
The Atlanta Falcons went with the conservative approach at QB
Desmond Ridder's career is not over by any means, it is just simply on hold. He struggled turning the football over and it ultimately resulted in Taylor Heinicke taking over the starting role (but he won't last long if he plays like he did against Minnesota).
The Falcons obviously have Ridder on a rookie contract so he was always going to be here this season. Heinicke, however, was a free-agent signing and I still think it was a bad move. There were other QBs who would have provided better play.
We all know that Lamar Jackson was "available." However, for those who criticize the team for not pursuing him, the Falcons never had a chance, and I mean never! The Ravens were sitting on a bunch of cap space to match whatever offer Jackson was given. They were never going to let him go.
Elsewhere, there was Derek Carr and Jimmy Garoppolo. Both of those guys are a hard "no." I believe they have been overrated their whole careers.
And then there were lower-priced free agents like Jarrett Stidham, Jacoby Brissett, and Gardner Minshew. Those three have had some great games in their career and while you certainly don't want to be starting them for five years, they still can manage games. I would have liked to see any of them sign with the Falcons.
The other choice would have been the draft. The Falcons never had a shot at Bryce Young or C.J. Stroud but Will Levis was available.
Admittedly, I wasn't the biggest fan of Levis but he is certainly showing he has the potential to be a really good NFL QB. The talent is something that we would love to have, especially after he beat us in his debut.
As you can see, there really weren't many options open to the Atlanta Falcons. They ultimately chose to go the conservative route and you can make the argument—even with how bad things have been—that it was the correct decision.