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Report: Falcons indicate interest in keeping Matt Schaub as backup QB

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Is that the right call?

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Schaub has brought veteran leadership to the Falcons’ locker room, as we’ve repeatedly been told, and a strong grasp of Kyle Shanahan and Steve Sarkisian’s offenses. He’s a coach holding a clipboard but ready to get into the game if something should happen to Matt Ryan, and perhaps it’s no coincidence that Schaub’s time in Atlanta has directly coincided with two of the best years of #2’s career.

When I put it that way, the case for re-signing Schaub seems evident, and then it’s not a surprise that Dan Quinn indicated at least a casual level of interest in doing just that on Friday.

Of course, the flip side to this is that has to do with Schaub the player and Schaub the expense. The veteran has cost the Falcons $9 million over the last two seasons, and he has thrown exactly seven passes for 20 yards total and fumbled once in that span. That’s about the going rate for a top-flight backup, and Schaub hasn’t looked like one of those on the field for a long while now. During the 2018 offseason when the Falcons were strapped for cash, it was hard not to think that Schaub’s dollars might have gone to more productive ends.

The Falcons have been blessed with one of the better, healthier quarterbacks in the NFL over the last decade-plus, but at some point they’re going to want to seriously explore the possibility of putting a quarterback behind Ryan who could win a game or two if waste matter hits the air conditioner. That may or may not be Kurt Benkert, big-armed erratic and current practice squad member, but it almost certainly is not a soon-to-be 38-year-old QB, either. I’d love to see Schaub transition into a coaching role with the team he began and ended his career with, but I definitely do not want to see the Falcons rolling into a critical offseason and signing over $4-plus million to Schaub again to be Ryan’s backup.

We’ll see what the offseason brings, but don’t be shocked if Schaub gets a one-year deal worth $2-3 million to do exactly that. Quinn’s comments, however mild, and the team’s recent history suggest it’s a real possibility.