One NFL agent is criticizing Atlanta Falcons quarterback Marcus Mariota and his handling of being benched earlier this season.
Mariota started the first 13 games for Atlanta this season, but was benched at the Week 14 bye. It came at a time when the Falcons had taken four losses in five games. Rookie third-round pick Desmond Ridder was elevated to QB1 as Mariota left the team to apparently deal with a knee injury.
“I thought Mariota quit on the Falcons, and it was unfair to a rookie like Desmond Ridder, who was there for Mariota to that point in the season,” the agent told Mike Sando of The Athletic.
“Of course, you want all your guys to be here, but guys have to make decisions,” Falcons coach Arthur Smith said. “It’s part of professional sports. You have to have contingency plans.”
Mariota hadn’t missed a snap due to injury all year and Smith said the knee hadn’t been an issue until the quarterback was benched.
In the first 13 games during the 2022 season, Mariota completed 61.3% of his passes for 2,219 yards, 15 touchdowns, and nine interceptions. He also rushed for 438 yards and four touchdowns.
His decision late in the season could hurt the 29-year-old in securing another job this offseason.
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