Sat, 25 Mar 2023

Falcons agree to terms with quarterback Taylor Heinicke

Atlanta Falcons
15 Mar 2023, 00:57 GMT+10

Heinicke has been with Washington for the last three seasons, making 24 starts. Tori McElhaney

Editor's note: The statements and opinions regarding players and/or potential future players in the article below are those of the editorial staff and are not of the Atlanta Falcons' football personnel unless noted in a direct quote.

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- The Falcons have agreed to terms to bring quarterback Taylor Heinicke to Atlanta, according to a report from NFL Network's Ian Rapoport on Tuesday morning.

Original reports stated that Heinicke can earn up to $20 million, but Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer provided greater context and detail to those contract terms.

Once official, Heinicke would join Desmond Ridder in the Falcons quarterback room.

Ridder started the final four games of 2022 for the Falcons. Since the season ended, the topic of the quarterback position has been a hot button in Atlanta. When the Falcons parted ways with Marcus Mariota during the early days of the 2023 NFL Combine, Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot was -- of course -- asked about the future of the quarterback position in Atlanta. Fontenot said, then, that the Falcons were not in the business of anointing players in February. So, in layman's terms: He would not be naming Ridder the 2023 starting quarterback at the combine. Fontenot did say, though, that a priority this offseason would be to fill out the quarterback room around Ridder, bringing in competition for the young quarterback.

At the time, Fontenot said the Falcons would look to all avenues to built out the position, whether that be in the draft, free agency or a trade.

That brings us to the point we're at now: Right up to the start of a new league year, which officially arrives on Wednesday afternoon. When it arrives, the Falcons are reportedly ready to sign Heinicke, who has spent the last three seasons with Washington.

In those three years, Heinicke saw action in 26 games, making 24 starts, as a backup to the likes of Alex Smith, Dwayne Haskins, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Carson Wentz. Whether it was by necessity of injury to the starter or the starters performance lacking, Heinicke continuously stepped into a starting role throughout his three seasons with Washington. With those opportunities, Heinicke had a 64 percent completion rate, throwing for over 5,000 yards in three seasons. He threw 33 touchdowns during that time and was intercepted 21 times.

Originally from Lawrenceville, Ga., Heinicke went to high school at Collins Hill in Suwanee, just 20 minutes down the road from the Falcons facility in Flowery Branch.

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