As soon as the Atlanta Falcons decided to trade Matt Ryan to the Indianapolis Colts on Monday, people all around the NFL started wondering what the team would do about their quarterback position. Many of them posited that free agent Marcus Mariota would be a top target and they were correct as the Falcons agreed to a two-year deal with him shortly after the trade.

The 28-year-old has been the backup with the Las Vegas Raiders for the last two seasons after being the starting quarterback for the Tennessee Titans between 2015 and 2018. Current Falcons head coach Arthur Smith had briefly worked with Mariota on the Titans and it was assumed their connection would warrant giving him a look, especially given how Atlanta’s current quarterback room looks.

Mariota has put up 13,437 passing yards, 77 touchdowns, and 45 interceptions in 74 games (61 starts) in the NFL. He’s also accumulated 1,574 yards and 13 touchdowns rushing. The Oregon product appeared in 10 games for the Raiders last season, mostly in spot duty.

Clearly, Mariota isn’t the long-term solution. But if the Falcons are going to invest in a young quarterback in this year’s draft or next season, he’s certainly a guy who can hold down the fort in the meantime. The team could have considered trading for Baker Mayfield or Jimmy Garoppolo but it appears that they’d rather invest in their future than try to work with an existing veteran who probably isn’t the long-term answer either.

While we wait to see what the Falcons do in the near future with their quarterback plans, the Mariota signing certainly garnered a strong reaction around social media.


About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to