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Falcons pay for backup

By Jared Smola | Updated on Tue, 14 Mar 2023, 8:36 AM EDT

The Falcons have agreed to a two-year deal with QB Taylor Heinicke that could pay as much as $20 million, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero. That likely means Heinicke will get significant salary escalators if he winds up starting a bunch of games. More importantly, though, this might be the clearest signal that Atlanta expects to have QB Desmond Ridder starting Week 1 of 2023. The Falcons now have two QBs with NFL starting experience rostered, still more than a month ahead of the NFL Draft. We doubt this excludes the franchise from taking a QB in Round 1 of the draft, if the Falcons like a guy who gets to them. But don't bet on them angling to move up for any QB prospect. Ridder obviously has plenty to prove after just four rookie-year starts. And Heinicke looks like a two-year insurance policy. But Ridder has also been going plenty late enough in best ball ADP so far to be worth selecting as a QB3.

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Jared Smola, Lead Analyst
Jared has been with Draft Sharks since 2007. He’s now Lead Analyst, heading up the preseason and weekly projections that fuel your Draft War Room and My Team tools. He currently ranks 1st among 133 analysts in draft rankings accuracy.
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