Desmond Ridder to Arizona Cardinals, Falcons agree to terms on trade

Desmond Ridder

The Falcons reached an agreement to transfer quarterback Desmond Ridder to the Arizona Cardinals in return for wide receiver Rondale Moore, subject to physical examinations, one day after they signed quarterback Kirk Cousins to a four-year contract.

The Falcons selected Desmond Ridder in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft. In Atlanta, Desmond Ridder started his career as Marcus Mariota’s backup. However, he started the season’s final four games and finished 2-2 as the starter in his first campaign.

Once the 2022 season ended, the Falcons parted ways with Mariota while picking up journeyman Taylor Heinicke in free agency. It was stated then that the Falcons would enter the 2023 season with Ridder as the starting quarterback in Atlanta to see if he could be the Falcons’ future at the quarterback position.

Desmond Ridder started the first eight games of the 2023 season but did not finish the Falcons’ Week 8 loss to the Tennessee Titans. He was evaluated for a concussion at halftime.

Though he was cleared to play after the evaluation, he did not return to the game and did not play in the Falcons’ Week 9 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. Only when Heinicke – then the starter in Ridder’s place – sustained a hamstring injury in the Falcons’ Week 10 loss to the Arizona Cardinals did Ridder return to live game action.

After the Week 11 bye, former head coach Arthur Smith announced the team would go back to Ridder to finish out the season. Desmond Ridder started the next four games, going 2-2.

However, Ridder was again pulled for Heinicke in Weeks 16-17. Ridder started the final game of the Falcons’ season, though, with Heinicke injured. In the end, Ridder went 6-7 as a starting quarterback in 2023, completing 64.2% of his passes for 2,836 passing yards. Ridder threw 12 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

The Falcons will yield a small amount of cap relief with Ridder in Arizona. According to projections, the Falcons will save $922,458 toward the cap in 2024 and $1.43 million in 2025 by trading Desmond Ridder prior to June 1.

Desmond Ridder

At this point, there has been no further news on Cousins’ backup and if it could be Heinicke, who is expected to carry a cap number of $9.06 million in the second year of his two-year deal, which he signed last offseason. As for Moore, he joins a Falcons receiver room that was in need of reinforcements in 2024.

Drake London was the only player from 2023 under contract in 2024. Since the new league year began Wednesday, though, the Falcons have put in significant work to bring in more pass catchers.

They have already brought back KhaDarel Hodge on a one-year deal, and are reportedly signing former Chicago Bears wide receiver Darnell Mooney to a multi-year deal. Moore joins the group following the trade. Following his selection from Purdue in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft, Moore has played for the Arizona Cardinals for the past three seasons.

Moore has amassed 1,201 receiving yards on 135 receptions in his three-year career. With the Cardinals, he has appeared in 39 games, starting 23 of them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *