While it is still very early to indicate one way or another, it kind of feels inevitable that the Atlanta Falcons trade for Ryan Tannehill at some point. It’s safe to say that the Atlanta Falcons need to make something happen in 2023. I do think this is a crucial year for Arthur Smith. He’s got 7-10 in back-to-back seasons and has been given his most talented roster for 2023.
GM Terry Fontenot went crazy this offseason in free agency and the 2023 NFL Draft. The team has made quite the turnaround roster-wise since he’s taken over, and there really are no excuses for this team, especially being in a weaker division in the NFC South. Both sides of the ball now have adequate talent, and two of the most important units on any NFL roster, the offensive and defensive lines, look really encouraging for Atlanta.
Their biggest question might be the hopeful development of second-year QB, Desmond Ridder. Ridder saw limited action in 2022 but was mostly efficient throwing the football. He’s cut from the same cloth as other QBs like Ryan Tannehill and Marcus Mariota, so I think it’s safe to say what his ceiling could be in the NFL.
The team fit also makes sense, too. Arthur Smith had great success with Ryan Tannehill when the both of them were with the Tennessee Titans, and Mariota was also with them as well. I think there is a clear path for Tannehill himself to end up on the Atlanta Falcons at some point in 2023.
Let me explain. The Tennessee Titans drafted Will Levis in the 2023 NFL Draft, so they are clearly trying to at some point, turn the page with Ryan Tannehill, who is entering his age-35 season in the NFL. He’s an average QB who is obviously not going to lead a team to the Super Bowl at this point.
When you look at the Titans’ roster as a whole, there isn’t a ton to like, and I think them signing DeAndre Hopkins was a puzzling move. I get that they might want to try to make it work one last time with the Tannehill-Derrick Henry combination, but I don’t think anyone is taking the Titans seriously.
I think it’s very possible that by the time the trade deadline rolls around in 2023, the Titans are firmly looking from the outside in the AFC playoff race. In that case, they may turn into sellers, and two veterans that could yield decent returns in a trade would be Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry.
Well, perhaps the best possible fit for Tannehill in that scenario would be the Atlanta Falcons. Unless the Falcons bottom out, even them being around .500 should still have them in the thick of the NFC South division race. While Desmond Ridder could take a step in year two, there’s also a distinct possibility that he’s still not at his finished product.
It does take time for certain QBs to hit their stride in the NFL, and that could be the case for Ridder. Something that could help the Falcons in this situation is reuniting Tannehill with Smith, who went ballistic from 2019-2020.
During this time, Ryan Tannehill threw for 6,561 yards, 55 touchdowns, 13 interceptions, and earned a passer rating of 110.6. He did this in 28 total games, and went 18-8 in the games he started. I mean, this is absolutely insane production, and Tannehill was one of the best statistical QBs during this stretch.
Unless Desmond Ridder just explodes in year two, the Falcons might have a reason to boost their QB play and make a run at the playoffs in a crucial 2023 season. Tannehill to Atlanta makes a lot of sense.