Falcons cut veteran QB Mariota, gain $12 million in cap room
By CHARLES ODUM
AP Sports Writer
ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons have released quarterback Marcus Mariota in a move that was expected after the veteran was benched late in the season. The Falcons were 5-8 with Mariota as the starter before rookie Desmond Ridder started the final four games, winning two. Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot says releasing Mariota is “what’s best for the team.” Mariota signed a $10.5 million, two-year deal with Atlanta after the Falcons traded longtime starter Matt Ryan to Indianapolis. Mariota completed 184 of 300 passes for 2,219 yards with 15 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He rushed for 438 yards and four touchdowns.