The Falcons’ quarterback succession plan is now in place

ExploreFalcons’ depth chart – all rookies to the back of the line

For better or worse, the good ship Matty has sailed. Two hours after the trade with Indianapolis was announced, the Falcons signed Marcus Mariota, lately of the Raiders. Drafted No. 2 overall behind Jameis Winston in 2015, Mariota once was a big deal. He served as the Titans’ starter for 4 ½ seasons. He’s apt to be starting for the Falcons in September. He mightn’t be starting in November.

Ridder’s rookie contract will run for four seasons. Mariota’s deal is for two years at $18.75 million. According to Spotrac, only $6.75M is guaranteed – his $1.5M salary for 2022 and a $5M signing bonus. Per Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, Mariota will receive a $3M roster bonus if he’s on the roster next March.

For a Round 3 draftee to start Game 1 of Year 1 is a lot to ask, probably too much. (Wilson did. Montana didn’t.) The narrowness of Mariota’s contract tells us the Falcons deem him a seat-warmer. If Ridder shows anything, a franchise in need of a new No. 1 quarterback will be eager to see what he can do in games that count.

Jared Goff didn’t play in the Rams’ first nine games of 2016. They were 4-5 in early November, having scored 29 points over the previous three games. They turned to Goff, whose first seven starts resulted in losses. The…

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