The Atlanta Falcons are officially on the struggle bus. A 2-1 start to the season masked the relatively uninspiring play of Desmond Ridder, which reached another level of depressing in Week 4. Ridder tossed two interceptions in the first half of the Falcons' London-based matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
He's a young QB on a young team, so there's an argument for the patient approach. Ridder was a thorough winner in college, leading Cincinnati of all schools to the postseason stage. He began his NFL career on a win streak and he didn't throw an interception until Atlanta's Week 2 come-from-behind victory over Green Bay.
Still, the "safety" element of Ridder's play is starting to slip away. He's making mistakes, which are compounded by a general lack of confidence throwing the ball downfield. The Falcons' offense boils down to a lot of run plays and screens, which can only get you so far in today's air-it-out league.
If the Falcons don't believe in Ridder — again, it's early, but YIKES — there are a few logical trades out there. Let's explore the pathways to getting a real QB under center in the ATL.
No. 3 Desmond Ridder replacement trade for Falcons: Kyler Murray
The Falcons have been reluctant to invest big money in the QB position. Kyler Murray's contract is approaching albatross status as he watches Joshua Dobbs from the sideline and his timeline to return remains shrouded in uncertainty.
Still... Murray is 26 years old. He's a former No. 1 pick who made the Pro Bowl in his last healthy season. How well he returns from a major knee injury is unknown, but knee injuries aren't the same career death sentence they once were. Murray has talent, that much is undeniable. Maybe the Falcons want to take a swing.
Given the exorbitant nature of Murray's contract — five years, $230.5 million — the Falcons can probably get him for a discount price. The Cardinals are teetering on the verge of a rebuild; Atlanta wants to make the leap from mediocrity to contention, and the offensive weaponry around Murray would be pronounced. Bijan Robinson, Kyle Pitts, Drake London. Atlanta doesn't lack playmakers, it lacks the mechanism to get those playmakers involved.
Murray would be a high-risk, high-reward swing. He could bomb, looking more like the QB who went 3-8 before the injury last season than the QB who led the Cardinals to a postseason berth in 2022. But, it's hard to get worse than the current option, and there's a genuine chance Murray can recapture his Pro Bowl magic with the right supporting cast. His dual-threat nature could add extra spice to the Falcons' offense, to boot.