Falcons GM comments on Mariota’s release, adding to QB position

In one of the more predictable moves of the offseason, the Atlanta Falcons parted ways with quarterback Marcus Mariota on Tuesday. The team saved $12 million in salary cap space by releasing the former first-round draft pick.

Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot addressed the team’s decision to release Mariota during his Tuesday press conference at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.

“We really appreciate Marcus and all the things he did while he was here,” said Fontenot. “We have had perfect communication with he and his agent. We believe we are just doing what’s best for the team at this time. But we appreciate him and what he did while he was here.”

Mariota started for the Falcons’ first 13 games of the season before being benched in favor of Desmond Ridder during the team’s Week 14 bye. Ridder started the remaining four games while Mariota opted to have knee surgery.

Atlanta still has backup Logan Woodside on the roster, but the team is certain to add to this position this offseason. Fontenot confirmed this on Tuesday after addressing Mariota’s release.

The Falcons could add a free agent, such as Derek Carr, Jacoby Brissett or Baker Mayfield. Or they could select one in the upcoming NFL draft, which will features several first-round QB prospects.

Alabama’s Bryce Young is pretty much a lock to go No. 1, but Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud could be an option. Other names worth monitoring include Florida’s Anthony Richardson and Kentucky’s Will Levis.

Trading for Ravens QB Lamar Jackson is still a possibility, but as we previously examined, the Falcons would have to give up nearly three drafts worth of picks in addition to paying Jackson a record contract.

The 2023 NFL league year officially begins on March 15.


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Story originally appeared on Falcons Wire