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Falcons announce two-year deal with Marcus Mariota

Chris Simms offers his immediate reaction to the news that Matt Ryan is headed to Indianapolis, from what this means for the Colts' chances in the AFC to whether the Falcons will target a QB in the 2022 NFL Draft.

For the first time since 2007, the Falcons will have a different Week 1 starter than Matt Ryan. The team is trading their longtime quarterback to the Colts.

They are replacing Ryan with Marcus Mariota.

The Falcons announced a two-year deal with Mariota on Monday.

Mariota spent his first five years in Tennessee after the Titans made him the second overall choice in 2015, and Falcons head coach Arthur Smith was on the Titans’ staff all five years. Smith was the offensive coordinator in Mariota’s final year in Tennessee when Mariota started six games.

Mariota went 29-32 as a starter with the Titans. He was benched in favor of Ryan Tannehill midway through the 2019 season and Tennessee advanced to the AFC Championship Game.

Mariota’s best season was in 2016 when he completed 61 percent of his passes for 3,426 yards with 26 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He rushed for 349 yards with two touchdowns that season.

He did not make a start the past two seasons while backing up Derek Carr with the Raiders but appeared in 11 games as a change-of-pace quarterback. Mariota threw a touchdown and ran for another in his limited playing time.