Heading into the 2024 offseason it seems a safe assumption the Atlanta Falcons will cut Taylor Heinicke and keep Desmond Ridder. Heinicke saves the team cap space they can use on an impact player while Ridder costs very little. Neither is a starting option but keeping Ridder makes sense for this team. This leads to the obvious question what could his role be in 2024?
Raheem Morris is going to be focused on redemption and can't afford to entertain the idea of starting Desmond. Ridder's days as a starter in Atlanta are over. Desmond didn't show anything to earn a second season as the starter. While games against Houston and Green Bay showed his ceiling those moments were few and far between.
The one common thread for Ridder was finding a way to turn the ball over or miss an open receiver at the absolute worst time. Desmond was the complete opposite of clutch for the Falcons costing Smith his job and never showing any consistency.
Despite this Ridder's cheap contract and starting experience could be useful on the roster. Desmond's likely role is as the third quarterback with the team moving on from Heinicke and Logan Woodside.
The smart move for Atlanta would be to draft a quarterback to be the starter and bring in a veteran backup. Someone the team can rely on to help mentor their draft pick. This would leave Desmond as the third option and the emergency quarterback on game day.
Having Ridder as your emergency option feels right and would be a cheap way to have a third quarterback with starting experience.
Whether as the second or third quarterback there is no question that Ridder's role will be as the backup in 2024. Raheem Morris has a lot riding on his second chance as a head coach and will not hang his season on Desmond Ridder.