A new face has arrived to replace Matt Ryan in Atlanta.
The Falcons have agreed to terms with Marcus Mariota on a two-year deal, the team announced Monday. The deal is for $18.75 million, NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported. It's effectively a one-year pact, as it includes $6.75 million for 2022 -- $5 million signing bonus plus $1.75 million guaranteed base salary -- and a $12 million option for the second year with a $3 million roster bonus due on the fifth day of the 2023 league year, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported.
Mariota reunites with coach Arthur Smith, who served as offensive coordinator in Tennessee in Mariota's final season with the Titans in 2019. The Mariota deal came quickly following Atlanta's decision to trade Ryan to the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for a third-round pick in April's draft.
The fit was logical for Mariota both because of familiarity with Smith, and because of the opportunity presented by Atlanta.
Relegated to backup status following his benching for Ryan Tannehill in 2019, Mariota has since been with the Las Vegas Raiders, where he sat behind Derek Carr while also playing an occasional role in specific situations in which Las Vegas could utilize his mobility. Mariota's last significant playing time came in the 2020 season in which he was called upon to replace an injured Carr and completed 17 of 28 passes for 226 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Mariota looked the part of a viable quarterback in the NFL, but stuck around in Las Vegas for one more year before heading to the open market.
He'll arrive in Atlanta as the penciled-in starter with the advantage of understanding Smith's goals for the offense. It's about as good of a chance to start as Mariota would find anywhere in the NFL, and he'll hope to capitalize on the opportunity in the new chapter of his career.