The idea of the Atlanta Falcons trading for Ryan Tannehill, Kyler Murray or any quarterback for that matter is purely laughable at this point of the 2023 NFL offseason.
While most people outside of Georgia don’t believe in Desmond Ridder, the Atlanta Falcons do.
The same outsiders tried to put Lamar Jackson onto the Dirty Birds when he was almost certainly going back to the Baltimore Ravens. Everything Atlanta has done this offseason has been to surround the second-year pro out of Cincinnati with the most amount of talent possible. So when rumors first emerged about Atlanta dealing for Ryan Tannehill and Kyler Murray, I cried laughing.
When I think of Falcons insiders, the first person who comes to mind is Simon Hunter of The Action Network. He reported that the Falcons had conversations with the Tennessee Titans about sending Tannehill over to Atlanta in a package deal involving the No. 8 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. Yeah, it would have been the worst idea the Falcons had since hiring Bobby Petrino back in 2007…
There was also apparently a deal in place to send Kyler Murray to Atlanta in a package with the Arizona Cardinals. I cannot think of a quarterback who fits Arthur Smith’s competitive ethos less than Kyler Murray. Arizona may be rebuilding and new Cardinals general manager Monti Ossenfort has a Titans connection with Smith, but it would have made things awkward for Jonathan Gannon.
The whole point of him leaving the Philadelphia Eagles defense behind was to go coach Murray…
As a fellow Falcons fan like Conor Powers of The Action Network, I agree wholeheartedly that either trade would have been one of the dumbest things this hapless Atlanta franchise could have possibly done. How many times do I have to tell y’all that Smith and Terry Fontenot do have a plan, and they are going to follow it? You may not agree with it, but it seems like it is happening, guys!
Here is why Atlanta is not trading for any veteran quarterback this season, barring a major injury.
The Atlanta Falcons trading for a veteran quarterback right now makes no sense
Like Jacobim Mugatu, I feel like I am taking crazy pills. I mean, how do you not see this?! This isn’t that hard to figure out. The reason you don’t trade for a quarterback at this point of the offseason is that you want to see what Ridder can do. If he plays well, then, I don’t know, maybe you have your younger and less expensive version of Ryan Tannehill?! That is why Atlanta drafted him!
2023 is all about seeing if Ridder can be a guy. Keep in mind that the Falcons finally had cap space to actually participate in NFL free agency for once. Barack Obama may have been in office the last time the Dirty Birds could spend money. Should this team make the playoffs or be in contention, the Falcons would not have to pay him big money until 2026. This money will be going elsewhere.
More importantly, if Ridder and his backup Taylor Heinicke are horrific, guess what? The Falcons will probably be bad enough to be in a great position to draft one of two franchise-altering signal-callers coming out. I am talking about the next Patrick Mahomes in USC superstar Caleb Williams and the next Aaron Rodgers in UNC gunslinging sensation Drake Maye. Do y’all even get it now?
So either Ridder works out or he doesn’t. I am good with either outcome because there is a visible plan in place on the horizon if it goes in either one of those directions. Where it doesn’t make any sense is to trade for an overpriced veteran quarterback who is older than me or a guy who would rather do pretty much anything else on the face of this earth than open a playbook and study it.
If Ridder is serviceable, then the Falcons may have something to work with. Should he play like Tannehill did in his very short Titans prime or have the on-field leadership capabilities of a Dak Prescott, then Atlanta may not be horrific forever. Should this experiment blow up in the Falcons’ face, then they have every reason to be all-in on Williams, Maye or whoever in the 2024 NFL Draft.
Ultimately, this is why trading for a veteran quarterback was never going to fit into the long-term plans for Atlanta, no matter how much everybody and their brother wanted to shove a square peg through a round hole. This could be an option heading into the 2024 campaign, but it doesn’t make sense for where the team is at in its competitive life cycle. They don’t need to microwave this yet.
Trading for Murray, Tannehill or any quarterback for that matter unravels everything they just did.