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Report: Falcons to pursue QB Marcus Mariota after trading Matt Ryan

The former Titans top pick may be the team’s chosen bridge starter after the trade.

Tennessee Titans v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

The Falcons just traded Matt Ryan for a third round pick to the Indianapolis Colts, news we’re going to be digesting for a while. They appear to have a short-term replacement in mind.

Per NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, the Falcons are likely to reach out to Marcus Mariota in the hopes of signing him, presumably to compete to start in 2022.

Mariota, 28, spent the past two seasons as Derek Carr’s backup with the Raiders after starting from 2015-2018 for the Titans. He was benched after six games in the 2019 season in favor of Ryan Tannehill, however, and that came in Arthur Smith’s first year as the team’s offensive coordinator. Presumably, Smith knows Mariota well enough from his years in Tennessee and likes him enough to bring him into a barren quarterback room and at least compete to start while the Falcons figure out their long-term options at the position.

For his career, Mariota has thrown for 13,437 yards, 77 touchdowns and 45 interceptions in 74 games and 61 starts, adding 1,574 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground. This one could get done quickly if the Falcons are motivated to get it done, and with only Feleipe Franks under contract, I have to think they will be.

This has been one of the most whirlwind weeks in Falcons history, to put it mildly, and now we’re left to see if the Falcons do sign Mariota.