Analyst Says Cardinals Won Falcons, Desmond Ridder Trade

The Arizona Cardinals got the best side of the deal, according to ESPN.

Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

ARIZONA — The Arizona Cardinals and Atlanta Falcons exchanged the rare player-for-player swap in the offseason when Rondale Moore was sent packing in exchange for Desmond Ridder.

It was an interesting move for both sides, as the Cardinals wanted to upgrade their quarterback room while Atlanta continues to push themselves as all-in after signing Kirk Cousins.

“At its core, this is a change-of-scenery swap. Ridder looked overmatched as the starter in Atlanta and was going to be buried on the depth chart for the next two years. Moore was drafted by the departed Steve Keim/Kliff Kingsbury regime in Arizona and had 1,201 combined receiving yards over his first three seasons combined. There’s something to this deal for both sides,” wrote Bill Barnwell.

“The Cardinals get a backup for Kyler Murray, whose spot on the roster is secure for the foreseeable future. Ridder’s 42.8 QBR over the past two seasons hasn’t been starter-caliber, but it’s perfectly fine for a backup. He’s set to make a total of $2.6 million over the next two years, none of which is guaranteed, so Arizona can cut bait if it doesn’t think he’s up to the task. If he is, landing a competent backup quarterback for $1.3 million a year is good value.

“After signing Cousins, Atlanta had no leverage in moving Ridder, which is why it wasn’t able to land something more significant. It will get to take a flier on Moore, who never seemed to land in the downfield role the Cardinals needed and his college tape suggested after an electrifying run at Purdue. Injuries and a 5-foot-7 frame spoiled his chances of becoming a first-rounder, but after missing 12 games over his first two seasons, he was active for all 17 games a year ago.

“Moore averaged 1.3 yards per route run over his three seasons in Arizona, which ranked 86th out of 111 wideouts over that timeframe. Kingsbury seemed hell-bent on using Moore as a gadget player on screens, as his 38 receptions on screens over the last three years is topped only by Bucs wideout Chris Godwin. Moore has just 16 targets on deep throws over the first three seasons of his career, catching seven of them for 252 yards and two scores. And after serving as a return man during his rookie season, he has just one return over the last two years.

“With the Falcons adding Moore and Darnell Mooney over the past week, new offensive coordinator Zac Robinson will need to find roles for both when Atlanta plays 11 personnel. Moore might only be capable of that gadget role out of the slot, but if that’s what he plays, it keeps Mooney from spending time in the slot, where he lined up more than half the time a year ago. And if Moore’s that player, he needs to catch more than 65% of his passes, which is where he landed in 2023.

“Moore entered the draft with elite traits, and I like the Falcons taking a flier on a player with his upside as a potential fifth or sixth playmaker in their offense. At the same time, given the cost of even competent backup quarterback play on the open market, this deal feels more likely to play out as a Cardinals victory.”

Moore wasn’t able to find his footing in the desert, even under two different regimes. With all the aforementioned points Barnwell made, it’s also worth noting backup slot WR Greg Dortch managed to find more production when given opportunities.

Will he be able to flash the potential he did during his Purdue days with a fresh start in Atlanta?

That’s yet to be seen, though it’s clear as of now, the Cardinals have the upper-hand in this deal given the value of backup quarterbacks – a lesson Arizona learned all too well last season.

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