Atlanta Falcons Release Quarterback After One Season

The Atlanta Falcons have officially released quarterback Marcus Mariota, according to reports from Field Yates of ESPN.

The move was expected, given Mariota's poor performance and his chronic knee injury that had him end the 2022 season on injured reserve, in addition to the emergence of Desmond Ridder as the team's starting quarterback.

Mariota had a lackluster season with the Falcons, throwing for 2,229 yards, 15 touchdowns, and nine interceptions in 13 games. Despite his struggles, the 29-year-old quarterback is expected to draw interest from teams around the league as a veteran free-agent option, once fully recovered from his knee procedure.

The move frees up around $14.5 million in cap space for the Falcons. Meanwhile, Ridder, who had a completion rate over expected that ranked 32nd among 45 qualifying quarterbacks in 2022, is expected to be the team's starting quarterback for the 2023 season.

Expectations were fairly high for Mariota coming into the season, as he had been impressive throughout his career in his limited action as a backup quarterback. However, he got exposed as a starting QB, especially on his inability to throw the deep ball in the Falcons' pass-heavy offense. 

That being said, the twenty-nine-year-old is still a capable backup QB and should be able to latch on somewhere in that role.
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