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Report: Falcons to pursue Marcus Mariota at quarterback

The former Heisman Trophy winner could reunite with head coach Arthur Smith in Atlanta.

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Las Vegas Raiders Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Falcons officially traded veteran quarterback Matt Ryan to the Indianapolis Colts for a third-round pick on Monday and may already have their next QB lined up.

NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported shortly after the trade that the Falcons will pursue Marcus Mariota as a potential replacement for this upcoming season. This would re-unite the former Heisman Trophy winner with Falcons head coach Arthur Smith, who served as an offensive assistant during Mariota’s time with the Tennessee Titans.

The former No. 2 overall pick has spent the past two seasons backing up Derek Carr with the Las Vegas Raiders. He has appeared in 11 games during that stretch, throwing for 230 yards, one touchdown, and one interception in mostly garbage time situations. Prior to that, he spent five seasons with the Titans organization, leading the team to the playoffs once as a starter before being replaced by Ryan Tannehill.

There’s still a possibility that the Falcons could draft a quarterback with the No. 8 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft or trade for other starters like Baker Mayfield and Jimmy Garoppolo. For now, it appears there is a good chance that Smith will go with someone he’s familiar with like Mariota.