Atlanta Falcons sign Marcus Mariota as new quarterback

ATLANTA — Just hours after Channel 2 Action News learned Matt Ryan was being traded to the Indianapolis Colts, the Atlanta Falcons announced they had signed Marcus Mariota as their new quarterback.

Mariota comes from the Las Vegas Raiders.

“Mariota also enters this opportunity with deep knowledge of head coach Arthur Smith’s system. He worked with Smith in Tennessee, when he was Titans quarterback and Smith was a tight ends coach who became offensive coordinator in 2019,” the Falcons said on their website. “Mariota’s mobility is one of his greatest assets, able to create plays with his legs and his arm.”


Mariota was drafted to the Tennessee Titans in 2015 as their starting quarterback until he was replaced by Ryan Tannehill in 2019. He led the team to three consecutive winning seasons, the most since the team was known as the Houston Oilers.

“As we’ve said since we’ve started, we’re always evaluating and looking for opportunities to improve our team for the long term,” said Arthur Smith, who is heading into his second season as the Falcons coach. “This move is another step in that and we’re looking forward to the future.”

Mariota joins the little-used Feleipe Franks as the only quarterbacks on Atlanta’s roster. Tennessee took Mariota with the No. 2 overall draft pick in 2015, but the 28-year-old played sparingly over the past two seasons as a backup to Derek Carr with the Las Vegas Raiders.

Mariota lost his starting job with the Titans after going 29-32 record in five seasons. He’ll apparently get a chance to resurrect his career with the Falcons, who are also likely to pursue a long-term solution in the draft even though this is not considered a strong QB class.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.