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Falcons agree to terms on trade to acquire wide receiver Rondale Moore, send quarterback Desmond Ridder to Arizona Cardinals

A day after signing QB Kirk Cousins to a multi-year deal, the Falcons are packaging Desmond Ridder to Arizona.

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FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – A day after signing quarterback Kirk Cousins to a four-year deal, the Falcons agreed to terms on a trade of quarterback Desmond Ridder to the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for wide receiver Rondale Moore, pending physicals.

Ridder was drafted by the Falcons in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft. He began his career in Atlanta as Marcus Mariota's backup, but Ridder started the final four games of the season, going 2-2 as the starter in his rookie year.

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.

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. 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 Ridder prior to June 1.

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.

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Desmond Ridder #9 looks to pass during the fourth quarter of the Week 18 Game against the New Orleans Saints at Caesars Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana on Sunday, January 7, 2024. (Photo by Brandon Magnus/Atlanta Falcons)

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.

Moore has spent the last three seasons with the Arizona Cardinals after being drafted in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft out of Purdue. Over the span of his three-year career, Moore has accumulated 1,201 receiving yards on 135 receptions. He has made 39 game appearances with the Cardinals, making 23 starts.


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